Pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas Dr. Robert Jeffress waves the green flag for the start of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
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TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR's race at Talladega Superspeedway (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

NASCAR's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has been postponed a day because of rain.

William Byron won the first stage, moments before scattered showers halted action. The race will resume Monday at 1 p.m. CDT.

The Alabama superspeedway has a tight window with no lights to permit racing after dark.

Chase Elliott started on the pole with three Hendrick Motorsports teammates right behind him.

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2:15 p.m.

NASCAR's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway has been halted because of rain.

NASCAR called the red flag at the end of the first stage of Sunday's race. The cars came down pit road and NASCAR initially told the drivers to stay inside the cockpits. As the rain picked up, the drivers climbed out and teams began covering the cars.

There's been a strong threat of rain all day at Talladega, which does not have lights and a tight window to complete the event if the rain delay is of significant length. At 2.666-miles, the track takes more than two hours for NASCAR to dry it.

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2 p.m.

William Byron has won the first stage of Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Byron held off fellow playoff driver Joey Logano to earn the stage victory.

NASCAR then brought the cars down pit road to hold them as rain began to scatter around the track.

Paul Menard used the break between stages to give way to relief driver Matt Crafton. Menard has been bothered by discs in his neck all week and Crafton got time in the No. 21 Ford during Friday practice in anticipation of Menard not being able to finish the race.

Menard is retiring from full-time competition after his 13th full season.

The 39-year-old described his neck ailment as "getting old. It's all part of it. It's all part of what you sign up for when you're born."

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12:45 p.m.

Megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress steered clear of politics in his pre-race invocation at Talladega Superspeedway.

Jeffress is the Dallas pastor who has made comments warning of "a civil war-like fracture" if President Donald Trump is impeached. He kept his 44-second prayer politics-free.

Trump tweeted the statement Jeffress made last month on "Fox & Friends Weekend" in which the senior pastor of First Baptist Church warned, "If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, it will cause a civil war-like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal."

Former NASCAR chairman Brian France recruited several drivers to attend a 2016 Trump rally and endorsed the then-candidate.

Two months later at a race at Texas Motor Speedway, Phil Robertson, founder of the Duck Commander company, prayed in his invocation that "we put a Jesus man in the White House," and added "all right Texas, we got here via Bibles and guns."

Edward Graham, who works in a Christian missionary aid organization and is the youngest son of evangelist Franklin Graham, was on hand to give the command to start the engines.

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11 a.m.

Chase Elliott will lead his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates to the green flag for Sunday's playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

With rain in the forecast, NASCAR altered the pre-race schedule and moved the start up about 15 minutes.

Elliott starts on the pole and is joined on the front two rows by Hendrick title challengers Alex Bowman and William Byron, along with Jimmie Johnson.

Stakes will be high in the middle race of the second round of NASCAR's playoffs ahead of next week's elimination race at Kansas. Only Kyle Larson has secured a spot in the round of eight.

Elliott won at Talladega in April to end a streak of seven consecutive wins by Ford drivers at the Alabama superspeedway.

Last year's winner, Aric Almirola, leads Ford drivers in the next six positions. Erik Jones is the highest starter for Toyota at 11th.

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