Castrol EDGE USA Drivers Rankings sees Will Power (IndyCar) on top this week

Will Power (IndyCar), Tony Stewart (Sprint Cup), Jimmie Johnson (Sprint Cup), Scott Dixon (IndyCar – GrandAm) and Carl Edwards (Sprint Cup, Nationwide) are in the top five Castrol EDGE USA Driver rankings currently. Castrol EDGE USA Drivers Rankings contenders will go on to participate at the upcoming Izod IndyCar Series Championships this weekend. Saturday’s events will be the first race in the Chase for the Cup while Sunday will see Chicagoland Speedway.

Castrol EDGE USA Driver Rankings is primarily for drivers from 14 series from Indy Lights, NASCAR Nationwide, GrandAM and Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. These rankings take into account not only speed and performance but measures every possible stage in the race to the finish, be it overtaking prowess, fastest laps, performance and laps led.

The 2012 Izod IndyCar Series has come to the final stage at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California with the two main contenders being Australian racer Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay. While Power holds a 17 point lead over his rival, Hunter-Reay holds an advantage over Power on the oval track.

Auto news: Stewart jumps to second as Edwards falls

Tony Stewart leapt to second in the Castrol EDGE USA Driver Rankings as a result of Carl Edwards’ slip at Richmond.

Edwards had held the position for three weeks heading into Richmond, the final weekend before this year’s Chase begins.

He was also one of four drivers in contention for the final wildcard entry into the Chase, but could only come home 17th, one lap down on victor Clint Bowyer.

That not only dropped him out of contention for this year’s Chase, but spelled the end of his reign at the highest-ranked Sprint Cup driver in the USA Driver Rankings.

He slid three spots to fifth as a result, falling behind series rivals Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.

Stewart gained one spot, a direct result of Edwards’ slide, to move into second.

It is only the second time he has held the spot, the previous occasion coming in early September.

Johnson meanwhile jumped two spots to move into third, closing on Stewart in the process.

Both men qualified inside the top three for this year’s Chase, behind only Denny Hamlin.

Hamlin’s form has not always carried across into the USA Driver Rankings, and indeed he plunged three places to 10th overall on the back of his 18th-place finish at Richmond.

That fall means he has spent just one week all season inside the Rankings top 10.

Moving in the opposite direction were Matt Kenseth and Bowyer.

Kenseth, fifth on the road, rocketed three spots to seventh in the Rankings. In contrast to Hamlin, he has spent just one week outside the top 10.

Bowyer meanwhile outdid such gains on the back of his victory, soaring four places to a season-high of 13th.

He therefore stands on the brink of breaking into the top 10 for only the second time.

Despite Stewart’s gains, he remains some way of long-term USA Driver Rankings leader Will Power.

The Australian will be trying to secure a first IndyCar crown in this weekend’s Fontana finale.