Fort Worth's Nur Ali Brings International Flavor to Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas (April 2, 2010) - A Pakistani, a Canadian and group of Americans walk into a race track. Folks, this is no joke. It's driver Nur Ali, car owner Mario ...
Fort Worth's Nur Ali Brings International Flavor to Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, Texas (April 2, 2010) - A Pakistani, a Canadian and group of Americans walk into a race track. Folks, this is no joke. It's driver Nur Ali, car owner Mario Gosselin and his DGM Racing team arriving at Texas Motor Speedway to compete in the Rattlesnake 150 ARCA Racing Series race. Perhaps the most diverse combination in all of stock car racing, any one of five languages - English, Urdu, French, Hindi and German - can be heard coming from their garage.
Ali, 35, will be making his first career start in a stock car at Texas. It's a homecoming for him as his Fort Worth home is located just a few miles from the renowned speedway. He has competed in Legends and the Star Mazda Series at the facility but never on the high banked 1.5 mile oval. Since the track opened in 1997, Ali has dreamed of this day.
"When the plans were announced to build Texas Motor Speedway, I immediately knew I wanted to race there" said Ali, driver of the No. 12 Budweiser / Tara Energy Chevrolet. "It's taken longer than I had hoped for but it is finally happening."
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Ali grew up watching Formula 1 and aspired to become a professional race car driver. His family moved to Fort Worth in 1983 and shortly thereafter he became an American citizen. It wasn't long before he discovered stock car racing and developed his lifelong passion to become a NASCAR competitor.
"NASCAR is where I want to be," said Ali. "I have the skill, passion and determination to be competitive but lack one key ingredient - sponsorship. My current sponsors are fantastic and without them I would not have made it this far, but they are regional companies and not capable of moving up with me to the national stage."
Ali's unique background allows him to offer benefits to sponsors in an area which most other drivers can't.
"I come from a segment of the population that does not traditionally follow stock car racing," said Ali. "The biggest reason is that they've never had someone from their community to follow. Whenever I race, I introduce new fans to the sport. Last year in Chicago, at least 400 people that I know of came to watch me race. Here in Texas, we are expecting more than 1,000. There are very few drivers competing at my level that can consistently attract that many new fans."
Prior to embarking on a career in stock cars, Ali competed both domestically and internationally. After several seasons in Legends cars and the Star Mazda North American Championship, he was named as the driver for Team Pakistan in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. In the 2006-2007 season, Ali competed in 22 races for Team Pakistan and scored a career best 10th place finish in Durban, South Africa.
In 2008, Ali launched his stock car career competing in the ARCA Racing Series at Daytona International Speedway. In doing so, he became the first Asian-American to compete in the series.
"I've raced in 12 countries and on five continents but I'm not the only international competitor on this team," said Ali. "Mario has been racing and winning on tracks throughout North America for more than 20 years."
Gosselin was born in St. Marie, QC, Canada and moved to Florida with his family in 1981. He's won countless short track races in Canada and the US earning him the nickname 'Super Mario'. Along the way he's racked up several track championships, two USAR Pro Cup titles and three wins in ARCA. He now competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
"Nur tested with us a few weeks ago and we were very happy with his performance," said Gosselin, who will serves as Ali's crew chief in Texas. "He's professional, gives great feedback and most importantly very fast. If all goes well, we will leave Texas with a very good finish."
Ali continues to set his sights on becoming the first Asian-American stock car driver to compete full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but for now he will do his very best to make his mark at Texas in the ARCA Racing Series.
-source: nur ali PR