NASCAR Driver Armani Williams's Autism is Key to His Success




The 22-year-old Armani Williams is changing the narrative and promoting inclusivity as one of a handful of Black drivers in the sport. He is NASCAR's first driver to publicly discuss autism and how he lives with it.


"I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, autism can be a strength, not a weakness." [1]


Armani was diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at two years old. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. [2]


While having communication problems, Armani's autism helped him foster an intense focus on details. This would be key to his development as a professional racecar driver.


Armani started competitively racing go-karts at eight years old. He then advanced to mini-cup racing. He quickly mastered the gas & brake pedals and steering wheel mechanics. Armani's hypersensitivity to sounds and touch alerts him to issues with the vehicle that other drivers may not even notice.


"It just happens in a way that maybe not a lot of people have seen before. That's a type of thing I use to make sure that I help give detailed information to my crew so that they can make the necessary adjustments they need to make to get the best out of the car." [3]


During this time, Armani won 18 races and two championship titles. At 16, Armani competed in the ARCA Menards Truck Pro Series & in 2016 and became the highest finishing African-American in both the series and the championship race.


He is currently competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.


Click here to learn more about Armani & follow his journey!


[1], [3] https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/17/health/armani-williams-autistic-nascar-hf-trnd/index.html

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html#:~:text=Autism%20spectrum%20disorder%20(ASD)%20is,%2C%20moving%2C%20or%20paying%20attention.

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