The Andretti Green Racing drivers urged their team to get on top of its problems after the quartet were again surprisingly off the pace in Richmond qualifying.
Hideki Mutoh, at eighth in the 20-car field, was the best AGR qualifier, while Danica Partick was 10th. Marco Andretti will start 16th, with Tony Kanaan back in 17th after recovering from a mechanical issue that sidelined him after three flying laps in the first practice session.
"Since Indy, we've continued to put ourselves behind," said Kanaan, whose car stopped because of a defective O-ring in the fuel cell. "The guys are working late every night and trying hard, and that was another human mistake. We've got to fix that. I'm used to being consistent and running up front.
"Every once in a while you have a season like [Scott] Dixon had in '04. I don't think we're that bad right now, but yes, it's pretty frustrating."
Patrick, who is on a streak of starting in the top 10 in six races and has finished among the top 10 in the previous five races, was disappointed with being 10th best in qualifying.
"I'm kind of wondering what's going on, because last year we were on the front row," Patrick said. "I don't know if we haven't moved on developmentally with the car, grip-wise, but it's just tough.
"I don't know if I'm as frustrated as Tony, but I'll tell you what, it's disappointing. None of us think we should be in this situation."
AGR has not won a race since Kanaan's triumph at this event a year ago. Patrick is currently the team's leading championship contender in fifth in the standings, 52 points behind leader Ryan Briscoe, with Kanaan, Andretti and Mutoh seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively.