Andretti baffled by lack of pace
|By Matt Beer
||Sunday, May 22nd 2011, 11:23 GMT
The Andretti Autosport drivers admitted that they had no idea why their team was finding it so hard to get up to speed at Indianapolis as all four full-season drivers failed to get into the field on the first day of qualifying.
One-off addition John Andretti was the only member of the Andretti stable to make the top 24 cut yesterday, making it up to 17th with a second run. Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Mike Conway are all among the drivers hoping to get into the field in today's Bump Day session.
Andretti said it felt like no progress had been made all week.
"We haven't made any improvements. We were slow when we rolled off the truck, and we're still slow in qualifying," he said. "It's beyond me. I don't have an answer, and that's why I'm super-frustrated right now.
"I'm really nervous about qualifying. I think as long as we can field this car, we can win. It's just whether we can field this car right now. We're in a bad spot.
"I've been working on qualifying, trying to find speed all week. In an ideal world, you bank one today and work on the race car tomorrow. But this is going to be the longest weekend of my life, that's for sure. I just don't have any answers right now."
Hunter-Reay shared Andretti's belief that the team would probably be competitive enough to contend in the race, provided it could get through qualifying - which with up to 40 cars going for 33 grid spots this year would be tougher than for many seasons.
"We're struggling. We tried every bit of the set-up, from one side of the spectrum to the other, and it just didn't have any speed with it," said Hunter-Reay. "I'm not really sure what the problem is, but we'll just keep chipping away at it.
"We've been real quick all this season before we got here. We just need to get in the race. We've struggled with the car all week, but we just need to get it in the race and go from there."
Patrick had been the most competitive of the Andretti drivers in practice, then lost speed in qualifying, to her surprise.
"I felt that we had a fast car not only today, but all month, and thought we would hit a 226mph during today's qualifying run," she said.
"The GoDaddy car was really fast to start the month off. I was happy. It was the best I've felt here in a long time. I felt really comfortable with the car, and it felt effortlessly fast and it wasn't really slow until this morning.
"All I can think of is something we missed or something happened with the track, maybe, and everyone is putting a new set of rubber on and it changed.
"We just have to buckle down at this point. I guess we are going to have to risk it a little more come tomorrow."