Command given to start engines for Nationwide at Daytona (UPDATED)

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UPDATE (8:54 p.m. ET): After a bit of a wait, the command has been given to start engines and the Subway Firecracker 250 is upon us at Daytona. We’ll have post-race coverage later tonight on MotorSportsTalk, but for now, enjoy the show on this Independence Day.

UPDATE (8:37 p.m. ET): Pre-race ceremonies are now complete at Daytona, but the start of the race is still on hold. Some jet dryers are still patrolling parts of the 2.5-mile Daytona oval to get rid of remaining moisture.

UPDATE (8:10 p.m. ET): Driver intros for tonight’s Subway Firecracker 250 are now underway at Daytona International Speedway and cars are being rolled out to the grid.

NASCAR has still not announced a start time for the race, however. But the setting sun has come out and that’s always a good sign.

When NASCAR does decide on a start time, we’ll let you know.

Tonight’s Subway Firecracker 250 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series was scheduled to start shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, but rain showers during Sprint Cup qualifying has delayed proceedings.

However, word from Daytona is that the rain has stopped for now, enabling the Air Titan units to make proper progress on drying out the 2.5-mile oval. NASCAR has not yet revealed a new start time.

Rain has played a major role in today’s action at the World Center of Racing. A sudden cloudburst along the backstretch led to a nine-car crash during the first round of Nationwide qualifying (see the clip below), and an additional shower eventually caused NASCAR to set tonight’s grid on first-round lap times.

The Sprint Cup contingent actually got all of their first round in the books, but rain again showed up and forced NASCAR to cancel the final two qualifying rounds. Like Nationwide, the grid for Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 was set on first-round times; David Gilliland wound up earning the pole.

As we receive more updates on the weather situation at Daytona, we’ll pass them along to you right here.