St. Petersburg was the second IndyCar race in a row to be hit by adverse weather as heavy rain flooded the 1.8-mile street course and postponed the 90-lap event until Monday.
Danica Patrick lost practice time when a throttle cable broke on the No. 7 GoDaddy.com car. Andretti Autosport had its best road course qualifying performance in more than two years with three cars in the top seven, but Danica lined up 21st.
"I have to say that I'm pretty frustrated with my overall times today, but at the same time, I'm only eight tenths of a second off [second place]," she said.
She perhaps allowed some of her frustration to spill over into criticism of the St. Petersburg course and street racing in general.
"I don't think this is the greatest place for us to display excitement for the fans," she told reporters. "At the last race in Brazil the track was set up for overtaking which was a big relief. I passed a few people out there and that was nice. But I just don't think we are as exciting as we could be on the road courses."
Team manager Tom Anderson kept Danica on track when most of the leaders pitted on Lap 49 of 80. That elevated her to fifth place and she was able to make her final pit stop under yellow on Lap 67, maintaining ninth place despite having to take on more fuel than many others. In the seven laps of remaining green-flag racing, she gained two positions to finish seventh.
"What a great finish for the GoDaddy car this weekend!" Danica said. "It was a challenging race but we held on to the very end. The guys did a great job in the pits and they made all the right calls."
John Oreovicz covers open-wheel racing for ESPN.com.