Prototype Challenge Masters Champion Husain Aims to "Get in The Big Show"
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Although Naj Husain - the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda 2017 LMP3 Masters Champion - is celebrating his championship win, he dreams of running in long endurance races, such as the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, someday.

"I love this series - it's super competitive and it feels like it's growing," Husain said. "I like the new format with the hour and 45 minute races. However, I have a goal to compete in those longer endurance races and move up to that level over time. I would like to get into the big show some day - either in a P2 or GTD entry [in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship]."  

Most recently, Husain gained a second-place finish in Masters in the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports/Cloudistics Ligier at the season finale event at Road Atlanta after starting the event in positon six.  

Previously in the 2017 season, Husain captured a big win during his first time at the high-speed Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), which he has now dubbed his favorite track.  

"That was a challenging track for me," Husain said. "The experience of just learning a new track and winning the race made it my most gratifying win of the season."

Husain started driving around five years ago, first attending several driving schools until he stepped into racing more consistently. The Masters Champion started in IMSA in a Prototype Lites car with Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) three years ago before getting into the LMP3 car.

"The LMP3 is an amazing platform," Husain said. "First - it's certainly a proper race car and being a new platform, it's the future. This means more and more drivers will be racing them and the series will be more competitive."

"I stepped up my driving this year and grew a lot - the Lites car was a great learning tool for me and prepared me well for the LMP3 car," he said. "The ESM organization is very talented. It's a professional team and we have a great working dynamic, great communication and most importantly we have fun together. My driving coach Ross [Bentley] has guided me through these past five years and he makes sure to focus on the right things to improve my driving."

"Naj really stepped up his driving this season," Bentley said. "His progress as a driver has been tremendous over the past few years, but the new LMP3 car - along with the support from the ESM team - has helped him take his driving to a whole new level. He's committed to being the best he can, which is how he approaches his business life, too. Naj is one of the most rewarding drivers I've ever coached."

Husain grew up in New Jersey but currently lives in Virginia where he runs a fast-growing enterprise cloud software company called Cloudistics.

"The revenues at Cloudistics are doubling every quarter and that takes up a lot of my time," he said.

The Cloudistics CEO said he's had all types of cars ranging from Ferraris to Porsches, but he sold them all after climbing into his new favorite cars - Model X and Model S Teslas.

"Teslas are beautiful and fast - I'm a high-tech guy and I appreciate the next generation of engineering and how the car is controlled by software," he said.

"For me, it's all about the challenge," he said. "Racing is a sport where you're consistently pushing and challenging yourself to get better. It's all about being ready to perform - being in an uncomfortable position and having to fight through it. When you win races, it's an amazing feeling of accomplishment for me and the team. It's a team effort. It's like a business - to succeed you must have a great team of people striving toward the common goal in order to be able to win over your competitors."