The three points from a penalty taken with his first action after coming on as a replacement in England's 17-9 win over France enabled Wilkinson to edge past All Blacks star Carter and hoist the world record mark to 1190.
But a day later, Ronan O'Gara put a dent in his great rival's celebrations as he scored a match-winning 11 points in Ireland's 21-18 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
That took him to the verge of 1000 Test points (998) and took his Championship tally, since 2000, to 543 points.
The Corkman now also has a two-point cushion over Wilkinson in the Championship record books and the two players will spend the final two rounds of the 2011 RBS 6 Nations trying to become the first to reach 550 points.
Wilkinson's penalty at Twickenham took him to within two of former world points record holder Neil Jenkins' record penalty total of 248, while Jenkins' fellow Welshman Stephen Jones is now within four of becoming only the fifth player to kick 200 penalties.
Jones, who hopes to become only the second player to win 100 Welsh caps over the last two rounds, is now forging on towards the 1000 Test points mark, having this season overtaken Michael Lynagh to move into seventh on the all-time list.
The final two rounds of matches in the RBS 6 Nations should give O'Gara, Wilkinson and Jones the opportunity to add to their points tallies.
But, with so many more internationals to come this year with World Cup warm-up and actual World Cup matches, they could all greatly enhance their standings.
WORLD'S LEADING POINTS SCORERS:
1190 - Jonny Wilkinson (England-1123, Lions-67)
1188 - Dan Carter (New Zealand)
1090 - Neil Jenkins (Wales-1049, Lions-41)
1010 - Diego Domínguez (Italy-983, Argentina-27)
998 - Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)
967 - Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand)
934 - Stephen Jones (Wales-881, Lions-53)
911 - Michael Lynagh (Australia)
893 - Percy Montgomery (South Africa)
878 - Matt Burke (Australia)
CHAMPIONSHIP LEADING POINTS SCORERS:
543 - Ronan O'Gara (Ireland) 10.05 average/54 appearances
541 - Jonny Wilkinson (England) 13.2 average/41 appearances
467 - Stephen Jones (Wales) 9.53 average/49 appearances
406 - Neil Jenkins (Wales) 9.9 average/41 appearances
384 - Chris Paterson (Scotland) 7.53 average/51 appearances
288 - Gavin Hastings (Scotland) 8 average/36 appearances
270 - David Humphreys (Ireland) 7.94 average/34 appearances
232 - Paul Grayson (England) 13.64 average/17 appearances
207 - Michael Kiernan (Ireland) 5.91 average/35 appearances
201 - Andy Irvine (Scotland) 5.15 average/39 appearances
201 - Dimitri Yachvili (France) 7.44 average/27 appearances