Everything you need to know about Sunday’s race at Charlotte

Jeff Gordon will make his final start at Charlotte Motor Speedway during Saturday night's Bank of America 500. 

Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

The first race of the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup kicks off today at 12:30 p.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It originally was scheduled for Saturday night, but heavy and persistent rains postponed the start until Sunday, when the weather forecast is superb.

Teams practiced primarily through the daylight hours, which should help now that the race has been pushed back to a 12:30 p.m. ET start. The heavy rains Saturday night washed the racing surface of any rubber build-up and giving drivers a green racetrack for Sunday’s race. 

As a result, there will be a competition caution on Lap 25. 

Five-time Charlotte winner Jeff Gordon will be making his final start at the 1.5-mile track, the track where he earned his first Sprint Cup Series win in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600. Gordon has yet to win a race this season and knows it would be something special if he can go to Victory Lane at the end of the day. 

"If we walk out of here with a win, that would be extremely emotional," he said. 

With that, here is everything you need to know about Saturday’s Bank of America 500: 

Green flag:

12:30 p.m. ET

Forecast:

The forecast for today is excellent, with sunny skies and a high of 70 degrees. It is perfect for racing.

Color guard:

Charlotte Fire Department Honor Guard

Invocation:

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family

God Bless America:

Danielle Johnson

National anthem:

Natalie Weiss, Brodway and Youtube sensation

Flyover:

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Team Bandit

Honorary starter:

Rick Groesbeck

Grand marshal:

Kyle White

Defending race winner:

Kevin Harvick. Full recap here

2015 Coca-Cola 600 winner:

Carl Edwards. Full recap here

Fastest in Practice 1:

Kevin Harvick. Full recap here.

Fastest in Practice 2:

Kurt Busch. Full recap here.

Fastest in Final Practice:

Kyle Busch. Full recap here.

Chase standings: 

1. Matt Kenseth: 3,000

2. Joey Logano: 3,000

3. Denny Hamlin: 3,000

4. Carl Edwards: 3,000

5. Martin Truex Jr.: 3,000

6. Kurt Busch: 3,000

7. Jeff Gordon: 3,000

8. Brad Keselowski: 3,000

9. Kyle Busch: 3,000

10. Ryan Newman: 3,000

11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 3,000

12. Kevin Harvick: 3,000

Front row:

Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Full qualifying recap here.

Starting lineup: