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How Impound Races Work


Impound races require the set-up of the car not to be changed during the race. See more NASCAR pictures.
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Before impound racing, NASCAR knew it had to find a balance between drivers who could afford to use one setup to qualify in a race and another in the actual race, and drivers who had to make do with a single setup. Implemented in 2005, the impound rule dictates that a car's setup cannot be altered between the qualifying competition and the actual race. Once a car has qualified and been inspected, crewmembers are not allowed to perform any work on it. The car has to be parked in the garage (impounded) and left alone until the race [source: Siska]. Though the idea was to enhance competition, the changes weren't ideal at first. Teams felt that having the cars impounded made schedules more confusing and race day more hectic. NASCAR eventually addressed these problems and relaxed the rules to some degree.

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­So, why exactly did NASCAR start impounding cars? What problems arose at the outset of implementing the impound rule? What restrictions are placed on crewmembers while the car is impounded? And, is there any way for a driver to bypass the one-setup rule? Read on to find out.

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