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Kahne wins after Hamlin gets over-tyred

Hamlin closed to under a second, but that was as close as it got: the fairytale comeback was not to be, Kahne claimed the win and Hamlin was left listening to the profuse apologies of his crew chief over the radio: "That was 100 per cent my fault," said Grubb.

"Darian asked me how much of the tires I felt like I used up," explained Hamlin. "I said I felt like I used them up a substantial amount: I'd been on the lefts for quite a few laps, and so my information to him was that, yeah, we'd used up the tyres. He said, 'I think two is the call.'

"I said 'Okay, just give me tyres and no adjustments,'" he continued. "He took that as I meant four tyres. Just that small communication messed us up a little bit."

However, Hamlin shrugged off the disappointment and said that even if all had gone well, the victory was no sure thing: "Nothing's a given. Even though it was pretty obvious that we had a win in the bag if we took two tyres, you never know what could have happened."

Second is still no small achievement. Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski and Gordon rounded out the top six with Johnson pushed down to seventh place ahead of Kevin Harvick.

"We had a great race car," said Johnson. "There was a lot of speed in the car. It was the Gibbs cars and the Hendrick cars, and at times I was the best Hendrick car running top two, two three. But then that caution put us back in traffic. We still got through there, decent."

As for Harvick, he admitted that eighth was about right for the #29. "We finished about where we should have," he said. "Our car was really tight to the centre of the corner and we never could fix that without making it too loose off."

In the Sprint Cup championship, Matt Kenseth continues to lead by a margin of 16pts over Dale Earnhardt Jr., despite what by any standards was a phenomenally bad day for the Ford stable at Loudon. After Greg Biffle in ninth, Kenseth was the top Ford-powered car in New Hampshire in Sunday - but that was in a distant 13th place.

"We didn't have one of the best cars, it seems we struggle here as a company a little," he said. "We could never get it good enough to run with the real good guys, so then it's really about pit stop strategy and restarts. We got it back there at the end and was faster than the three or four cars in front of me, but I just couldn't figure out how to pass them."

The next of the Ford runners, Carl Edwards, finished in 18th place at the back of the lead lap; Marcos Ambrose finished in 19th as the first car off the lead.




Related Pictures

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A miscommunication on a late pit stop between Denny Hamlin and crew chief Darian Grubb dropped Hamlin from the lead to 12th. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kasey Kahne crosses the finish line to win the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin and Darian Grubb, the crew chief of the #11 Joe Gibb Racing Toyota, consult in the garage area during testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, kisses the Brick after his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The #24 Axalta Chevrolet crew celebrates in pit lane after driver Jeff Godron`s victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, salutes the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet, leads during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Resers Toyota, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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