IndyCar Power Rankings: Helio Castronves maintains top spot after Milwaukee podium

Nick Laham

Ryan Hunter-Reay won Saturday's race at Milwaukee but Helio Castroneves maintained momentum and the top spot in the IndyCar Series power rankings with a second-place at the legendary West Allis speedway.

While the battle for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship appears to have become a four-car battle, the parity from week-to-week hasn't really eroded. While Chevy and Andretti Autosport continues to set the benchmark on ovals, it's still a level playing field through the rest of the field and the power rankings continue to reflect that.

1. Helio Castroneves (LW: 1)

It's hard to drop a driver from the top spot for doing everything but score a victory and that's exactly what Helio Castroneves did on Saturday at Milwaukee.

Thus he remains in the top spot -- just as he has in the championship standings. Finishing second when you're closest pursuer wins the race limits the damage and wins titles over the course of a full season.

2. Ryan Hunter-Reay (LW: 3)

The defending IndyCar champion is back on track. Despite winning in the second race of the season in Birmingham, Ryan Hunter-Reay did not start to experience the consistency needed to repeat as IndyCar champion until Indianapolis.

The rest of the paddock may have to step up their game now that Hunter-Reay and team have found their rhythm. The long-standing parity of the 2013 season may have ended at Milwaukee.

4. Scott Dixon (LW: 6)

The Ganassi driver responded to his early at exit at Texas Motor Speedway with a sixth-place at Milwaukee.

Dixon has continually been the most consistent driver - if not car - for Honda this season. There's a real concern starting to grow about Dixon's chances to break the glass ceiling this season, but if he does win, it could be the first of many.

Dixon, like so many others this season, just has to somehow get over the hump.

5. Marco Andretti (LW: 2)

Entering the season, Marco Andretti had to have circled Indianapolis, Texas, Milwaukee and Iowa on the schedule as his best chances to contend for the season championship.

His advancement on road and streets will come in handy now after going 0-for-3 in his first oval attempts of the season. He lost some championship ground on Castroneves and Hunter-Reay on Saturday, placing an increased importance for him to perform well at Iowa -- where he is a former winner.

6. Dario Franchitti (LW: 5)

The four-time IndyCar champion is in a similar position to his Target Ganassi teammates, Scott Dixon except without the consistency. Franchitti has remarkably rallied to 10th place in the standings after another top-10 in Milwaukee.

Without an incredible string of victories, it may be a case of too little, too late.

7. Will Power (LW: 10)

The defending championship runner-up continues to have a title-contending season on ovals. While most drivers outside of the championship top-10 could conceivably be eliminated, Power is the one who could still win six or seven of the remaining races (mostly road and streets) and make a surprise run -- but he's going to need some help.

8. EJ Viso (LW: 7)

Steady she goes, Viso is a contender every single week and the next most-likely candidate to score his first victory after finishing fourth at Milwaukee.

9. Takuma Sato (LW: NR)

Sato confirmed his championship credentials on Saturday at Milwaukee.

He led a race-high 109 laps and was in position to score his second win before an ill-timed caution trapped him one lap down. Sato should be a contender at Iowa and every other race for the rest of the season.

10. Justin Wilson (LW: NR)

It's hard to pick a tenth-place power rankings driver when so few cars finished off the lead lap. But Justin Wilson fought to a top-10 and is still a fringe title contender near the halfway point. There is a lot of value in that for the Dale Coyne Racing driver.

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