"We had them. We certainly had the position," Gordon said. "I'm pretty disappointed I let him get inside of me on (turn) one."
Kahne also won this season at Bristol. He jumped a spot to eighth in the points standings and need a win to make sure he'd at least qualify for a wild-card spot should he fall below 10th place. Kahne was third last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and seems to be heating up with five races left until the Chase field is set. With two wins, he'd also be closer to Johnson and Kenseth once the points are reset when Chase field is set.
Kahne's 16th career win should make him a Chase lock.
"The Chase is what it's all about in NASCAR," Kahne said. "You need to make it."
Gordon, who has six Pocono wins, finished second last week and has three straight top 10s to also position himself for a spot in the 12-driver field. He had won at Pocono each of the last two seasons. When Gordon leads late at Pocono, he usually wins. Just not this time.
"I'm frustrated right now because we had a shot at it," Gordon said. "We know how important wins are."
Gordon hangs on to ninth in the standings, but could be out of a Chase spot if he falls outside the top 10 without a win.
Johnson, who set a track record in qualifying, again had the dominant car for half the race until he blew a front tire. A week after a slow, final pit stop cost him a win at Indianapolis, Johnson was done in this time by a tire issue that ended his chance to win.
Johnson, who won the June race from the pole, stretched his points lead to 77 over Clint Bowyer.
Danica Patrick lost control of her car, triggered a four-car crash and was 35th. Kenseth's late spin knocked him to 22nd.
But it was that spin that made the difference for Kahne. He may not have caught Gordon without the final caution.
"We had speed. I could move around," Kahne said. "But to actually clear him and make the pass, I think it would have been really difficult. I'm glad that second caution came out there and gave us another shot."
Kahne took a moment in Victory Lane to remember his friend, Jason Leffler. Leffler was killed in June on a dirt track in New Jersey only days after racing in the Pocono Cup race.
Kahne and Leffler were friends and traveled together on the way home from the June race.
"Just me and him," Kahne said. "We spent a bunch of time together and then that happened that Wednesday. It was tough. There are so many people that are good friends with Jason and knew him really well. I just wanted to mention something about him."