Engines fired at Chicagoland; competition caution to come at Lap 30 (UPDATED)

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UPDATE (3:30 p.m. ET): Engines have fired up. Let’s get racing.

UPDATE (3:28 p.m. ET): NASCAR has announced that a competition caution will be thrown at Lap 30 of today’s race because of the rain.

UPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): Under cloudy skies, pre-race ceremonies for today’s GEICO 400 have begun with the invocation.

UPDATE (3:05 p.m. ET): The Sporting News’ Bob Pockrass has Tweeted that the invocation has been set for 3:15 p.m. ET, with the National Anthem coming soon after. Barring another shower, it appears we’ll be racing shortly.

The rainy weather at Chicagoland Speedway hasn’t been something out of Noah’s Ark, but it’s been pesky enough to delay the start of today’s first race in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The green flag had been set initially for 2:18 p.m. ET, but the rains had forced teams to keep their cars in the garages and fans at the 1.5-mile oval to break out their jackets and ponchos.

Shortly before 3 p.m. ET, the teams got the go-ahead to roll their cars out to the grid on pit road.

Track drying is currently underway at Chicagoland, but Weather.com is forecasting more showers for this afternoon and into the early night. Driver introductions took place at their originally scheduled time.

The ISC-owned facility does have a lighting system, but as detailed earlier today on Twitter by the Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer, NASCAR’s “Air Titan” system is not an option:

The Air Titan was deployed during this past spring’s rainy affair at Talladega Superspeedway, helping to dry up the 2.66-mile track in less time than conventional jet dryers would have.

The race would get back underway after a three-hour, 36-minute red flag delay, and was won by David Ragan as darkness began to fall.