Chase opener at Chicagoland postponed until Monday

The first race in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship will have to wait at least one more day to be run.

Persistent rain on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway forced NASCAR officials to delay the start of the GEICO 400 until Monday at noon (et).

The 400-mile race at Chicagoland was scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (et), but showers moved over the area shortly before the start time. Track personnel made two separate attempts to dry the 1.5-mile oval, but weather conditions worsened again at night time, forcing race officials to make the decision shortly after 8:00 p.m. (et) to postpone it one day. The race could have run at night, since the track has lights.

Matt Kenseth, a Chase contender, will lead the field to the green flag. Kenseth turned a lap at 183.243 mph during Saturday's qualifying session to win the pole for the race.

According to the National Weather Service, the forecast for the Joliet area on Monday calls for a 30 percent chance of precipitation until 1:00 p.m. local time.

This is the second race in NASCAR's premier series this month to be postponed due to inclement weather. Heavy showers associated from Tropical Storm Lee forced a two-delay of the 500-mile race at Atlanta, which was scheduled for September 4.