ASIAN-AMERICAN NUR ALI WELCOMES HIS 'AMBASSADOR' ROLE Fort Worth, TX (February 3, 2009) - When Nur Ali straps into his race car, he knows he's taking on a huge responsibility. This responsibility goes beyond controlling a 3,300 lbs. stock car at...
ASIAN-AMERICAN NUR ALI WELCOMES HIS 'AMBASSADOR' ROLE
Fort Worth, TX (February 3, 2009) - When Nur Ali straps into his race car, he knows he's taking on a huge responsibility. This responsibility goes beyond controlling a 3,300 lbs. stock car at speeds approaching 200 mph. Ali is an Asian-American and represents a community which typically doesn't follow the sport.
Aware that he doesn't fit the traditional mold of a stock car driver, he's proud to bring diversity to the sport he loves. He has become the sport's ambassador to the Asian-American community - a role he takes very seriously.
"When I race, I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams," said Ali. "Whether I wanted the job or not, I automatically became a role model for those in my community. I am very conscious of this and work hard to be positive both on and off the track. My racing also brings a new audience to corporate sponsors. Fans like drivers they can relate to."
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Ali spent his early childhood in Hamburg, Germany, where he grew up watching Formula 1. In 1983, Ali and his family moved to Texas, where he was introduced to the Indy Racing League and NASCAR. Before long, he developed not only a keen interest in, but also a lifelong passion for motorsports.
Though he wanted to immediately jump into the driver's seat upon graduating high school, Ali understood the importance of receiving a formal education. After earning his Bachelors of Arts in International Relations from American University, he set his sights on a career in motorsports. While in college, Ali interned for Congressman Joe Barton, R-Texas.
"I'm a big supporter of education," continued Ali, who is fluent in English, German and Urdu. "It is the key to a successful future. I got an education before I went racing. Without it, I'm not sure I would have made it this far in my career."
After graduating from college, Ali launched his racing career in open wheel cars and officially became the first and, to date, only Pakistani driver to compete professionally. He competed in the Star Mazda Southwest Championship for eight seasons, winning two championships along the way.
In 2005, he was named to drive for Team Pakistan in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. Pakistani President at the time, General Pervez Musharraf, called Ali a 'Pioneer of motor racing for Pakistan'.
Ali co-founded Motorsports Association of Pakistan, a non-profit organization responsible for the governance of automotive sport in Pakistan in 2006. Later that year, he established the Nur Ali Motorsports Academy, the first professional racing school in Pakistan.
Noticing the loyal NASCAR fan base, Ali turned his attention from open wheel to stock car racing. In 2008, he competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
In 2009, Ali will once again race at Daytona. On February 7, he will compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. His No. 45 A to Z Wholesale Dodge will be easily recognizable.
"I will carry the message 'Driving Diversity' on my rear bumper," explained Ali. "It's a phrase I use often. It means I'm part of the drive to bring a diverse group of drivers and fans to the sport. Since it's on my rear bumper, a lot of drivers will be seeing it come race day."
The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will be televised live on SPEED. The broadcast begins at 4:00 P.M. (ET). SPEED is DirecTV channel 607 and Dish Network channel 150. Check with your cable provider for SPEED in your area.