Carpenter, Foyt dropped to 24th, 25th after failed inspections
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Vision Racing's best-ever qualifying performance has gone for naught as both of the team's cars have been sent to the back of the grid for Saturday night's Gainsco Auto Insurance 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Vision drivers Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV were two of the last drivers to qualify on Friday night, and they parlayed the advantageous cooler conditions into second and third place on the grid. But both of the team's Dallara-Hondas failed technical inspection on Saturday morning.
Carpenter's previous best qualifying effort was fourth place for the 2006 Michigan 400, while Foyt's best past starting position was sixth. At Kentucky Speedway in 2007 Foyt scored the first podium finish for Vision, which is co-owned by IndyCar Series founder and CEO Tony George and actor Patrick Dempsey.
Indy Racing League vice-president of communications John Griffin said the series would not reveal the reason the Vision cars failed. Carpenter will start 24th and Foyt 25th, with fourth-fastest qualifier Danica Patrick elevated to the outside of the front row alongside pole winner Scott Dixon.
Rookie Jay Howard has been cleared to drive in Saturday night's race. Howard bruised his right knee in a qualifying accident and will start 23rd.
Three-time Homestead winner Dan Wheldon will also start the race in a spare car after crashing during his qualifying run.
John Oreovicz covers open-wheel racing for National Speed Sport News and ESPN.com.