FORT WORTH, TX (October 10, 2012) – For many race car drivers, being patient goes against every fiber of their being. Who can blame them as they live in a world where thousandths of a second can make or break their day. For Nur Ali, being patient has finally paid off. After years of trying, the 37-year-old Fort Worth, Texas resident will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on October 20 in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. He will also compete in the series at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3 and Phoenix International Raceway on November 10.
No stranger to stock cars, Ali has six starts in the ARCA Racing Series. Prior to setting his sights on a career in NASCAR, he spent several years competing internationally. He was the driver for Team Pakistan in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport during the 2006-2007 season. He also spent eight seasons competing in the Star Mazda Series, scoring two championships. Ali, who has raced in 12 countries, is also the first and only professional race car driver of Pakistani descent.
“Being patient is not something I enjoy but I understand how important it is both on and off the track,” said Ali. “It has always been a goal of mine to compete in NASCAR and patience is what has allowed me to get to this point. I wanted to be sure that when it happened it was the right situation. It takes a lot of time to build the partnerships necessary to race competitively in NASCAR.”
Ali, who will announce sponsors at a later date, is driving for Rick Ware Racing (RWR) of Thomasville, NC. Known as ‘The Biggest Little Team in Motorsports’, RWR has competed in ARCA, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“Rick Ware Racing is a solid team that is very well respected,” said Ali. “They have been in the series for several years and that was important to me. With limited experience at these tracks, I need a team that can provide a consistent and reliable car. Knowing that I’m racing for an experienced team gives me a lot of confidence.”
With a multi-race program planned and confidence in his team, Ali is approaching these three races with the same patience he’s become accustomed to off track.
“Running several races in a row is the next best thing to a full season,” said Ali. “There isn’t that sense of urgency you have with a one race program. I’ve always been a patient driver. I don’t take unnecessary risks or over drive the car. That won’t change.”
Joining the series as the season winds down, Ali is mindful that a championship is being decided.
“My goal is realistic – to finish every race on the lead lap,” continued Ali. “I’m fully aware that I’m not racing for points and will be considerate to those who are. I will race like I always have – hard but clean.”
Ali is hopeful this opportunity will showcase his talents and lead to a full season opportunity in 2013.
“I don’t want my NASCAR career to be limited to three races,” said Ali. “I want to compete full time in 2013 and hope that this opportunity shows the world that I have what it takes.”
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Ali’s family moved to Hamburg, Germany when he was an infant. In 1983, at age eight, Ali moved to Texas and became an American citizen shortly thereafter. 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 in 1998, he set his sights on a career in motorsports.
That same year, Ali obtained his racing certification from the esteemed Skip Barber Racing School. He launched his racing career competing in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Southern Series, officially becoming the first Pakistani driver to compete professionally.
Ali, along with his brother Amar, founded Ali Motorsports in the fall of 1998. With no connections in the motorsports industry, he had to pave his own way into a sport.
In 2000, Ali graduated to the Star Mazda Southwest Championship. Over the next eight seasons, he enjoyed much success. He captured two championships and eight wins in the Star Mazda Series and also tested cars in the British F3 Series and Indy Lights Series.
In 2005, Ali was not only the first driver named to compete for Team Pakistan in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, he was also the first driver to be selected to compete in the newly launched series.
During the 2006-2007 A1GP World Cup of Motorsports season, Ali competed in 22 races for Team Pakistan and scored a career best 10th place finish in Durban, South Africa.
Noticing the loyal NASCAR fan base, Ali turned his attention from open wheel to stock car racing. In 2008, he competed in the ARCA Racing Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In doing so, he became the first Asian-American driver to compete in the series. Noting this momentous occasion, Governor Rick Perry of Texas presented Ali with an official commendation and the Mayor of Southlake, Texas, where Ali resided, proclaimed January 25, 2008 as Nur Ali Day.
The Kansas Lottery 300 will be televised live on ESPN. The broadcast begins at 3:00 P.M. (ET). For more information on Nur Ali, visit AliMotorsports.com.