Toronto Saturday Notebook – 7

For the record, in spite of what EJ Viso says (albeit with a mischievous gleam in his eyes), Versus TV's IRL anchor woman Lindy Thackston is NOT dating EJ. Nor is she married to him. EJ, however, can certainly dream, and it is a nice dream……..While watching Tony Kanaan spin out during qualifications, former CART and F1 driver Mark Blundell commented to AutoRacing1 that Tony was simply driving too hard. "Take it from one who knows," Blundell said, indicating that he'd made the same mistake. "It's easy to do this stuff (motioning like he was steering a car) but it's very tough to keep this (pointing to his head) straight"………..While it is true that the driver is more important in road races than ovals, the fact is that money still talks on the track. Richard Antinucci, driving the very low budget Team 3G entry, pointed out that his team is very much lacking in basic equipment. Certainly one can see the extensive vertical "secondary" planes on the front wings of the leading cars, while Antinucci's car has none, basically as it came from the factory years ago. Of course, the team has only one car to their name, the same aging car that they failed to put into the show at Indy last may. While the team had a respectable run at Watkins Glen last week, they will start shotgun on the field tomorrow………Forget about being competitive in the IRL on $4 million budgets says former Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. Kevin says that his budget is over $6 million per car, and the Penske team is over $9 million per car. Then again, the Penske hospitality tent serves prime rib for lunch, and that has to count for something…………AutoRacing1 has heard that one of Gil deFerran's rides in his new IRL team has been offered, but could not get the last bit of information to find out who got that offer, but Scott Dixon has been mentioned if Danica Patrick moves over to the Ganassi team as rumored……When Dario Franchitti won the pole at Toronto in 1997, Bobby Rahal qualified third. On the first lap, Franchitti and Rahal made contact going into Turn 1. This weekend, Dario scored his third pole at Toronto and the next generation of Rahal – Bobby's son Graham – will start third. Dario laughed and said, "Looking at the grid, I think Graham is third. In 1997 when I got my first pole, his dad qualified third and took me out in the first corner. So I'm going to have a word with the next generation and talk to Graham and work things out for tomorrow morning so we can get through Turn 1." Tim Wohlford reporting from Toronto

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