Low and behold, it looks like the cars at GEM have finally found their stride. With another strong outing at Michigan, the GEM cars have been red hot in the last month of the racing season. Led by Kasey Kahne's 2nd place finish, which probably would have been a win in the Green-white-checkered finish had it not been for the unfortunate crash of GEM driver Patrick Carpentier, GEM placed two cars in the top ten for the second time in four races. Carpentier raced well until his late race wreck and Kahne gambled with fuel strategy and an ill-handling car all day for his third top-two finish in the last four points races.
Heading into Charlotte, Kahne was still sitting outside the top 12 in 14th position. Since then, he has gained seven spots in the standings to 7th and has cut 102 points off of Kyle Busch's lead in the Sprint Cup standings and now sits only 324 points out of the lead with only 11 races left until the top 12 will duke it out in the chase for the Sprint Cup title.
Elliott Sadler had a good run too. Starting mid pack after rain washed out qualifying, Sadler too struggled with his car all race long, made some gambles and finished the race strong for another top ten finish. It is a huge confidence boost for Sadler, who earlier in the year, was threatening to fall out of the top 35 in owner points. That would have been devastating for the team and with the recent strong runs, he sits comfortably in the top 30 at 26th position.
With the next race at Infineon, a road course, the challenge will be for the GEM cars to just compete as they have recently struggled at road courses. Hopefully with the recent surge these teams have had, that may help them to finally run well at a road course.