Either Marcus Ericsson, Katherine Legge, Graham Rahal, or Nolan Siegel will fail to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

For two of the at-risk drivers, it’s hard to fathom how they’ve ended up among the four slowest drivers vying for the three available starting spots that are up for grabs as Rahal, who was bumped from the field one year ago, is once again relegated to the Last Chance Qualifying session with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The biggest shock of all came with 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, whose backup Andretti Global car just hasn’t been able to muster the same speed as his quicker teammates.

Dale Coyne Racing, the smallest team in the IndyCar Series, is also represented in the LCQ with Legge and Siegel, whose crash on Friday forced him into a spare car that has none of the aerodynamic or mechanical drag reduction techniques applied that would allow the car to post more competitive speeds.

The quartet, all using Honda power, were between 0.497mph and 4.479mph shy of being safe in the top 30.

“For us, it’s flipped,” Rahal, who was 0.868mph from avoiding the LCQ, told RACER. “To start the week I was the quickest car by what I thought was a little bit of a margin. All of a sudden, it’s not only swapped, but now I’m a mile an hour off, which makes zero sense at all. So we have to go back and look, and for sure when you look at and go, ‘RLL is in the same place,’ well, we’re not in the same place because the same place was five miles an hour off of Ganassi last year; we’re not five. But for sure, the Chevys are fast. It’s just a shock.”

For Ericsson, the crash on Thursday set his current situation in motion. If there’s a saving grace, it’s the fact that he was the fastest of the four slowest drivers heading into the LCQ.

“It’s strange that what we see out on track doesn’t match up with what it should be,” the Swede said. “It’s a backup car. For sure, not ideal, but it shouldn’t be so far off. Our primary cars, our teammates are up there. We have fast cars and the team has been really, really doing a good job, so we don’t really understand how we can be struggling so much, but we have tonight to try and find out and then go out tomorrow and try and deliver.”