"We didn't really have the session we wanted," admitted Franchitti, who was feeling somewhat poorly and had experienced a non-stop breakneck week with cross-country media appearances following the Indy 500 victory.
"We kept getting behind Ed Carpenter and even on his slower laps he was getting in our way," Franchitti explained. "I think if you're going that slow you should be looking in your mirrors. It's tough to find a gap as it is but that just ruined our session."
Franchitti will start just behind Sarah Fisher Harman Racing's Josef Newgarden, who admitted that he'd been feeling unwell and not at his best.
"I think there's a cold going around, and our whole team's got it," he said. "I'm disappointed because I should have gotten more out of the car. I don't think we had a Pole car, [but] we should have transferred out of the first group."
Also disappointed to exit qualifying early was James Hinchcliffe, who just a week ago was lining up second on the grid at Indianapolis but who this week lost his chance of progressing after brushing the wall with his left rear wheel on a flying lap that forced him back into the pits for a check over for suspension damage. Panther Racing's JR Hildebrand also failed to progress from his group after his own brush with the barriers in qualifying.
"I just totally screwed up," said Hildebrand. "You know coming to a place like this that you've got to be able to put the lap time down in the first couple laps before the tires start going off.
"I was pushing really hard on the second timed lap, because that's when I really thought the lap time was going to come, and I got into the tyre wall," he explained. "It was the third corner on that lap and we were already way up to that point, and the car definitely had the speed in it."
And Oriol Servia was another car to exit the session early, although in his case he'd rather expected it given that he lost most of the Saturday morning practice session after an accident wrecked the front right suspension of his car and the team had their work cut out just to get him out on track for the qualifying session at all.
"I'm really sorry. I put the team behind the eight ball by crashing this morning on the first lap," he admitted. "It didn't give me time to get into the rhythm of how the track was changing and we couldn't try set-up changes that we wanted to.
"We went out guessing on how the track was going to be and the engineers guessing how the car was going to be and it wasn't enough. We needed a couple of more laps. That's what happens when you make a mistake in such a competitive field," he concluded.