It's NASCAR race day at Chicagoland Speedway, and we've got the actual race start time, the starting lineup and some other facts about today's GEICO 400 for you below.
What time does the race start today? First of all, you'll note a later start time than normal Sunday races due to the Chase: Most Sunday races in the final 10 weeks will begin at 2 p.m., and the last few races will start at 3 p.m. As for today's race, a GEICO executive will tell the drivers to start their engines at 2:09 p.m. Eastern. The exact start time of the Chicagoland race is 2:18 p.m. ET (1:18 local).
Race name/distance: Today's race is the GEICO 400. It's 267 laps around the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway for a total of 400 miles.
TV, radio and live streaming: Today's race can be seen on ESPN. Every race for the rest of the year will be on ESPN except for Charlotte (which is on ABC). There IS live streaming of the race today, which can be found at NASCAR.com's "RaceBuddy" site and on the "Watch ESPN" app. If you'll be away from your computer and TV, check the Motor Racing Network's web site for a list of affiliate radio stations in your area.
*** NOTE: If you're out and about today and can't watch the race, make sure to follow me (@jeff_gluck) on Twitter. I'll be tweeting updates about the event. ***
National anthem: Country music singer Luke Bryan will sing the national anthem today. Earlier in the morning, he'll perform a 45-minute pre-race concert for fans.
Tickets: The race is not a sellout, so you should be good to go if you're planning to make a last-minute trip on race day.
Weather: The unofficial NASCAR weatherman, Brian Neudorff, says today's weather in Joliet should be quite pleasant – sunny with temperatures in the 70s – with no chance of rain (a relief after last year's Chicagoland race, which was postponed to Monday due to weather).
Last time: Tony Stewart snatched a surprising victory last season after barely making the Chase – and it turned out to be one of an astounding five wins he got en route to winning the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Here's the starting lineup for today's NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway (Chase drivers in bold):