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Everything You Need to Know About Armani Williams

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Armani Williams has an inspiring and unique story, and he is carving his own path in the NASCAR world. Here is everything you need to know about NASCAR’s first openly Autistic driver.

  • Armani Williams is slated to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut driving for JD Motorsports at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He has previously raced in other NASCAR series, competing in the Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, and K&N Pro Series. In addition to being the first openly Autistic NASCAR driver, Williams is one of only five active African-American NASCAR drivers (Bubba Wallace, Rajah Caruth, Jesse Iwuji, and Blake Lothian).
  • Williams has been forced to overcome many obstacles throughout his life. However, he has never allowed that to keep him from pursuing his dream.
  • Fans are learning more about Williams and his incredible story. He inspires many fans who are dealing with the same struggles he has.

Early Life and Career

Armani Williams is a 23-year-old driver from Michigan. He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a toddler, and he told Ron Sandison of The Art of Autism that he spoke his first word around the age of two or three years old. Williams did not know that he had Autism until his parents told him in middle school, according to Jeff Arnold of CBS 42.

Growing up with Autism, Williams struggled with both sensory issues and social interaction, as many kids with Autism do. However, he slowly learned how to handle these struggles, especially leaning on his parents when learning how to handle social interactions, as he told Sandison

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Once it got to the point where I was more than comfortable being around other people that’s when the next step came was to learn how to talk and interact with people. My parents have been helping a lot teaching me the basics of having a conversation with someone, how to stay connected with them, how to meet people I have not met before, etc. My parents have been very supportive of me and without their help I don’t know how my life would have been today.

Armani Williams to Sandison

As he learned how to handle Autism, Williams grew fond of race cars. As he told Sandison, the first race Williams attended was the 2010 Brickyard 400, won by Jamie McMurray.Williams was hooked, and he began racing go-karts as a kid. Eventually, he worked his way into the NASCAR ranks.

Working His Way Up Through the NASCAR Ranks

Williams’ early professional racing career took him just about everywhere. In 2017, he took his talents North of the Border and raced for Doug Kennington in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. Williams was relatively quiet in this series, with his best on-track finish being 13th, coming at Wyat Group Raceway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Jukasa Motor Speedway in Hamilton, Ontario.

In 2018, he returned to the United States, making two starts in the K&N Pro Series (currently the ARCA Menards Series East/West). He made two starts in the East Series with two more in the West, with one in each series in 2018, followed by one more each in 2019.

His best finish came in the East Series in 2019 at New Hampshire, finishing in 11th. He also recorded his first Pinty’s Series top-10 at New Hampshire one year prior, a ninth-place result.

Despite the pandemic in 2020, Williams moved further up the ranks, nabbing a two-race deal with Andy Hillenburg in the ARCA Menards Series. Williams recorded a 17th-place result at Phoenix before qualifying a career-best ninth and finishing 10th at Michigan that summer.

While starting his racing career, Williams told Ron Sandison of The Art of Autism about balancing education as well. Not only did Williams graduate high school, but he also went to college at Oakland University in Michigan, studying engineering. He graduated in 2022, just as he was getting his first cracks at the NASCAR National Touring Series.

His first Craftsman Truck Series race came in 2021 at Gateway with Reaume Brothers Racing, and he finished 21st. Williams made three Truck Series starts apiece in 2022 and 2023, racing for Reaume Brothers, Young’s Motorsports, and G2G Racing.

Williams was eventually signed by MBM Motorsports and returned to ARCA competition at Daytona in February 2024. Despite a late incident, Williams finished a respectable 13th in a field of 40 cars.

Now, he is set to attempt to make his Xfinity Series debut at New Hampshire with JD Motorsports. The site where he recorded his first Pinty’s Series top-10 and his best ARCA finish.

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