Will Power has emerged top of the pile of the newly launched Castrol EDGE Driver Rankings, a dynamic seeding system for the best drivers in American racing.
The Australian has been in superlative form in 2012, racking up three victories and two pole positions in the opening four races. His points tally is also boosted by a superb 2011, during which he recorded six wins and nine podiums, finishing a close runner-up to eventual champion Dario Franchitti.
The Scot is not Power's nearest challenger, however – the accolade instead falling to NASCAR Sprint Cup's Carl Edwards, who has collected seven top 10 finishes in the series' opening 11 races. Edwards' bid to overhaul Power and claim the top spot is likely to be hurt, however, by this weekend's Indianapolis 500.
Under the Rankings rollover system Power will drop his 14th-place finish from last year, and after qualifying fifth for this year's edition he could be set for a large points gain. The same is true of Franchitti, who currently lies fifth in the Driver Rankings – behind Power, Edwards, Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon and NASCAR's Kyle Busch.
Like Power, Franchitti failed to crack the top 10 in last year's Indy 500 although unlike the Australian, he struggled in qualifying and will start the race from 16th.
Dixon, third in the Driver Rankings, is at risk of slipping down the order however following his fifth-place finish in 2011, which means he defends a far higher total than either Power or Franchitti.
The fight between the three IndyCar men and the NASCAR Sprint Cup duo of Edwards and Busch is a microcosm of the wider fight between IndyCar and the NASCAR Sprint Cup for supremacy in the Driver Rankings.
Outside the top five, Sprint Cup drivers gain the ascendancy, locking out the rest of the top 10. Reigning champion Tony Stewart (6) heads Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, with little to choose between the quintet in terms of Rankings points.
The next highest non-Sprint Cup driver is current ALMS LMP1 leader Lucas Luhr, who comes in at 15. Luhr, the 2011 FIA GT1 champion, earns his spot as a result of his two victories and two pole positions so far this season, although additional races in Grand-Am have also boosted his total.
To see the full Castrol EDGE Driver Rankings, which incorporates a host of series across the US including Star Mazda and Grand-Am, click here.