"This car has been really inconsistent today," he continued, talking about the accident that ended his day prematurely. "It was slow and inconsistent in my first qualifying run. It was loose and sliding around. We made some changes, and it was pushing in the practice before the second qualifying attempt. Then the thing got loose again."
Sebastian Saavedra blew an engine early in the day, but the team were able to swap out the affected Chevy unit and put him back out in time to make it into the all-important top 24 with the last run of the day in the main qualifying session.
"I want to thank the complete Andretti Autosport team who did an unbelievable job to change that engine," he said. "We kept calm, and they did an amazing job; all five teams putting together one car. It was beautiful to watch, and I'm so thankful."
"On the first attempt, we just had no power," he said, thankful to get a second chance later in the day. "We went out there [for the second attempt] without one practice lap. We were missing a few things, and it showed. It was 4 o'clock, and we needed to [go for it.] We had the car to be further up there."
Katherine Legge ran a few laps but never set a full qualifying time, while the Lotus-powered duo of Jean Alesi and Simona de Silvestro didn't come out to play at all on Saturday, deciding it was best to leave their own qualifying laps for Sunday instead.
"We had a very up-and-down day. This morning in practice, we were really getting somewhere, and I think we were relatively competitive," said Legge. "Then this afternoon, it got hotter and hotter, and the track got slicker and slicker. We went out to practice and had a bit of an issue with the car that we managed to iron out, and then went back out to qualify and a glitch meant that the green flag wasn't thrown, so I had to pit.
"We went back in line and [team owner Jay Penske] decided to pull the car from the field because it was probably safer to just put it in tomorrow with no pressure," she added.
For her part, de Silvestro said: "Not going out to qualify today makes sense, because we don't really have a chance to make it in the field today. So we'll focus on tomorrow and hope we make a good run."
Tomorrow's qualifying will see those cars that did not make it into the top 24 set new qualifying times in order to set the starting grid positions for the last three rows of the grid. If there were more than 33 cars qualifying, then Bump Day would also be a ferocious battle to make it into the race at all, but it seems unlikely that any last-minute cars or drivers will emerge and so this shouldn't be the case this year.
Full Pole Day qualifying times and positions