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AUTO: MAY 21 IndyCar - The 106th Indianapolis 500 Qualifying

Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The Motorsports Insider for the Indy Star, Nathan Brown joined Evan Ludwig on Tuesday’s edition of Into The Smoke as he discussed the pageantry of the 106th edition of the Indy 500, and who are some of the drivers’ fans should be keeping an eye on.

When it came to this weekend’s running Evan first asked Nathan about the record-breaking qualifying laps we saw from Scott Dixon on Sunday with a 4-lap average of 234.046 MPH Nathan said the speeds have crept up over the past couple of years but it still was a bit of a surprise as he pointed out that the cooler conditions were really perfect to put down some fast laps in both practice and qualifying which definitely played a role.

The field of 33 was next on the docket as some big names are in the middle of the pack to the back of the pack for Sunday’s event when asked who we should keep an eye on out of that bunch Nathan thinks we should keep our eye on 2019 winner Simon Pagenaud to be a threat despite his starting spot as he was in a similar situation last year as he finished 3rd after starting 26th last year, and despite Penske being quiet so far he thinks that people shouldn’t be shocked if Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin get to the front and become a factor.

Nathan lastly weighed in on Jimmie Johnson’s chances to contend for the Indy 500 in his first try as he told Evan he can have a shot if the right brakes go his way, but that is going to be a tall task for him since he has had tough breaks since being in Indycar, and it is especially challenging for him to contend with drivers with much more experience racing open-wheel cars at Indy.