Armani Williams is a professional NASCAR driver who lives with autism. In fact, he is the first NASCAR driver to be open about being autistic!
Armani Williams was born on April 14, 2000, in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. When he was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with autism. Williams did not speak at all until the age of 3. As a child, he had trouble with social interaction and sensory issues. But with the support of his parents, he learned to adapt and overcome these challenges.
His interest in cars began at a young age. Growing up, he loved to play with toy cars, like Hot Wheels, and watch NASCAR races on the television. At the age of 8, his dad started to take him to race go-karts. When he was 10 years old, he went to the Brickyard 400 with his father. During his childhood, he went to a competitive go-karting school and performed in their races.
In 2017, Williams made his debut with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. During the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, he finished eleventh, and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, he placed twelfth. In 2018, he participated in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and finished in eleventh place.
Today, Williams performs in the NASCAR ARCA Menards Series. He has participated twice in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine. Many of the cars he races in have blue color schemes or blue puzzle pieces to represent living with autism and to raise awareness. In the near future, Williams hopes to race in the NASCAR Gander Mountain Truck Series, Xfinity, and Monster Energy Cup Series. Williams has never let his autism stop him from achieving his dreams. If you put your mind to it, the sky’s the limit!
“Autism is not something that has to be a weakness. It can be a strength. Just because you have autism, don’t let that back you down from your dreams. If you truly have a dream of something that you want to be good at, go for it.”Armani Williams
Most recently, Williams raced in the ARCA Menards Series in 2020. He raced in Phoenix where he placed seventeenth in the N0. 01 Ford racing car. He also performed in the same series in Michigan where he drove the No. 12 Chevrolet racing car to a top 10 finish. He uses his career platform to raise awareness for autism. Alongside racing, Williams currently attends Oakland University where he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering