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Rain ends; Southern 500 at Darlington under way

AUTO: SEP 01 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Bojangles' Southern 500

DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 01: Fans sit in the rain during the running of the 70th annual Bojangles Southern 500 on September 1, 2019 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a more than 3 1/2-hour rain delay, Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is underway.

Rain began to fall around 5:45 p.m. ET, roughly a half-hour before the race was originally scheduled to take the green flag. After more than 2 1/2 hours of rain, the precipitation finally ended and track dryers took to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval to get it race-ready.

The opening invocation and the command to start engines -- which came at 9:48 p.m. ET -- were the last two pre-race activities that needed to be completed. There were several parade laps run under yellow before the green flag for the 500-mile race finally fell at 10:07 p.m. ET. The race is being televised live on NBCSN, and on the radio on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Because the rain washed away all the rubber that had been laid down on the track over the weekend, there will be a competition caution at Lap 35.

Brad Keselowski is the defending winner of the Southern 500.

Follow @JerryBonkowski