Bristol, TN – The IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway was held up Saturday evening when a racing team comprised entirely of Muslim men observed one of their five daily prayers just as the race was beginning.
“If you know anything about our rituals, you know that we pray five times per day. But, they are to be evenly spaced out so that we are constantly reminded of God. One of these prayers is to take place at sunset,” says Roddy Jabbour, team tire specialist. Most NASCAR races take place at 1pm ET, giving the team the opportunity to pray before and after the race. But, due to the awkward timing of the race at Bristol, the team, sponsored by DuPont, had no choice but to take to the track for prayer.
“Another thing you might not know is that prayer requires a clean space. The infield is cramped, and full of smoke and noise,” says Gil Rafiq, tire changer. “We really had no choice, but to take to the track. We were very sorry to do so. I hope everyone understood,” adds Dwayne Siddique, 2nd assistant to the tire changer.
The race was delayed for around 25 minutes while the team prayed. The crowd remained completely silent out of respect for the team. One man did stand up and shout that he couldn’t hear them very well, but was quickly shushed and ejected from the race.
Ross Kelly enjoys circles.