Will Powers to 2nd in Castrol Rankings
The Australian had suffered consecutive falls in the Castrol EDGE Rankings after difficult weekends at Mid-Ohio and New Hampshire, dropping him to ninth overall and putting him at risk of falling outside the top 10.
He bucked the trend with victory at Sears Point however, leading a Penske podium clean sweep and closing in on championship leader Dario Franchitti in the process.
The portents of victory were established early on as Power topped qualifying by almost half a second, and he carried that form into the race to lead for almost the entire duration.
He even had to navigate a late safety car period which allowed the field to close back in, once again gradually pulling away to eventually take the chequered flag 3s ahead of team-mate Helio Castroneves.
Ryan Briscoe, also of Penske, rounded out the podium trio in third, but it was not quite enough to promote him from his current spot of 26th in the Rankings.
Victory not only moved Power up to eighth in the Rankings, but allowed him to close to within 26 points of Franchitti in the standings – down from a gap of 62 points one month ago.
Across in NASCAR, fellow Australian Marcos Ambrose lost ground following a tenth place finish in the Sprint Cup at Bristol.
Ambrose actually gained points in the Rankings system, dropping a 20th place finish from the event last year, but with those behind him improving by a relatively higher margin he fell three places to 67th overall.
F1 stars Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo were the only other Australians from the Rankings top 10 in action on the weekend.
Webber finished an impressive second to team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Spa-Francorchamps, setting the fastest lap to suggest, had he enjoyed a better start, he could well have been a major force in the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
A podium finish kept Webber in the title race, but did not affect his overall position of second in the Castrol EDGE Rankings.
Ricciardo meanwhile had his race cut short by a fault during his pit stop on lap 13.
There was enough time for him impress however as a fantastic opening lap saw him vault from 23rd on the grid to 16th. He was also able to make progress in the Rankings, rising four places to 120th.
Castrol EDGE Rankings Top 10 Australians*
Core Series Rank Score
1 Mark Webber F1 2 21,572
2 Will Power IndyCar 8 16,122
3 Ryan Briscoe IndyCar 26 11,531
4 Marcos Ambrose Sprint Cup 67 8,057
5 Jamie Whincup V8 Supercars 70 7,624
6 Craig Lowndes V8 Supercars 88 6,766
7 Daniel Ricciardo F1, FR 3.5 120 5,609
8 Mark Winterbottom V8 Supercars 128 5,379
9 David Brabham World GT1 134 5,227
10 John Martin Superleague 155 4,789
*Data correct as of August 30, 2011
To see the full Castrol EDGE Rankings and Race for 2011, please visit www.castroldriverrankings.com