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Strong practice effort doesn’t transfer to qualifying for Marco Andretti at Sonoma

Firestone 600 - Qualifying

FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 10: Marco Andretti, driver of the #27 Snapple Andretti Autosport Honda, prepares for Star-Telegram Qualifying for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway

Things were looking so good for Marco Andretti Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

He was fastest in the final practice session for Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and showed considerable promise of earning a potentially high starting spot in qualifying.

Unfortunately, qualifying went much the way Andretti’s season has gone, and just like that, he went from promising to a poor starting effort.

Whereas Andretti and his team were smiling and in high spirits after the final practice, it was woe and dismay after qualifying.

“I lost two-tenths of a second, this one is going to be hard to swallow,” Andretti said of his qualifying effort. “I’m on the straightaway and had a huge misfire and lost two-tenths. We missed (the Fast Six) by a half a tenth.

“It’s going to be tough to sleep tonight. It’s a bummer. We definitely had the pace to do something tonight. We’re going to be pretty bummed out tonight.”

Andretti was poised for his best starting position of the year had he advanced. Instead, his tough run of qualifying ends with his equal best on a road or street course this season - 14th matches his mark also at St. Petersburg - and zero top-10 starts on the whole with an average grid position of 17.4 for the year.

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