Romain Grosjean knew what he had. It wasn’t enough to dream about being in the Fast 12. He’d settle for 19th. Colton Herta was stymied in 21st. Marco Andretti was angry and answerless in 24th. Devlin DeFrancesco was slowest of the five in 26th. Only Kyle Kirkwood, the team’s lone race winner this season, was quick, but he was knocked out of the top 12 and will start 15th.
Five Andretti Autosport Hondas, all absent from the group that transfers to Sunday with a chance to run for pole position. This isn’t what any of the quintet had in mind.
“We just don’t have it,” Grosjean told RACER. “The balance stayed decent and we used…the tools and everything but we just don’t got it. It just doesn’t accelerate as well on the straight and there’s nothing we can do about it. We knew 15th to 20th was our position.”
Herta’s car wasn’t particularly good or bad. It just lacked the most important item required during qualifying.
“We just seemed to be sliding around too much,” he said. “I’m happy with the car. It just didn’t have speed.”
After making a big leap in competitiveness this season, going backwards at the Speedway wasn’t something that seemed possible. Steeped in frustration, Andretti fired both barrels at his family-owned outfit.
“It’s actually embarrassing, to be honest,” Andretti said.