LOUDON, N.H. -- The best car was rolling toward victory -- until its driver and crew chief couldn't agree on how many tires to change.
Kasey Kahne capitalized on that confusion between Denny Hamlin behind the wheel and Darian Grubb in the pits to win his second Sprint Cup race of the year and make a leap toward one of the 12 spots in the Chase that determines this year's NASCAR champion.
"For those guys to miscommunicate, that helped us a ton," Kahne said. "I'll take 'em any way we can."
Hamlin's Toyota led for 150 of the 300 laps. His communication wasn't quite as good.
Kahne went ahead to stay during a restart on the 240th lap when Hamlin spent extra time in the pits as his crew changed all four tires. Hamlin wanted just two new ones.
"Darian asked me how much of the tires I felt I'd used up. I felt like I had used up a substantial amount," he said. "[I said] give me tires and no adjustments. He thought I meant four tires."
Kahne didn't feel he stole a victory.
"I wouldn't say 'stolen.' We ran in the top four the whole race," he said. "We were in pretty good shape, [but] if he was to keep the track position I never would have passed him."
Hamlin's longer pit stop left him in 13th, but he kept passing cars until only Kahne remained in front. Then he simply ran out of miles and Kahne won by 2.738 seconds.
Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
Kahne went from 16th to 12th in points for the Chase, and his two wins are more than anyone in the second group of 10.
"We've been pretty tough all year, but we just haven't finished 'em off a lot of the times," Kahne said. "From here on out, we need some more top 10s and top fives the rest of the way. It doesn't get us in the Chase yet, but it does help with a win today."
The turning point came when the third caution flag came out on the 234th lap for oil dropped on the track by David Reutimann.
Hamlin went into the pit, telling Grubb over the radio that he wanted tires. Grubb, who first planned to change just two, interpreted that to mean four.
After the race, Grubb took the blame: "That was 100 percent my fault."