JOLIET, Ill. -- Sunday's rain at Chicagoland Speedway forced NASCAR to postpone the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

NASCAR rescheduled the race for today at noon Eastern on ESPN.

The forecast didn't look good from the start, but because the facility has lights, NASCAR waited all day for a window to dry the track. Officials got the window and had the track almost dry, but the sky opened again roughly six hours after the scheduled start.

Time ran out about 8 p.m., with NASCAR releasing teams after the almost-dry track was soaked by a heavy rain. It marks the first Chase race since the championship series debuted in 2004 to be postponed.