NASCAR Driver With Autism Celebrates First Top 10 Finish

Twenty-year-old Armani Williams is turning heads on and off the track. He’s the first NASCAR driver to openly have autism. And he’s been having a really good year.


He recently celebrated his first Top 10 finish in the sport at his home track of Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR ARCA Series races. Although he’s competed in the lower levels of motorsports, this was William’s second career race at the ARCA level. The race was the fastest of his career as the cars approach 190 to 200 mph going into the corners at MIS.


Riley Herbst won the race, but William’s goal was to finish the race without incident, which he did perfectly.


Williams was diagnosed with autism at age 7. He was determined not to be defined by the diagnosis. His parents enrolled him in a course for autistic children that taught how to ride a bike. Williams mastered it in a day. There was no doubt he liked to go fast, which eventually led him to the racetrack.

Williams is sponsored by Centria Autism of Farming Hills, Michigan, a leading national provider of applied behavioral analysis therapy for children with autism. Williams hopes his strides in NASCAR can inspire others with autism. The organization and Williams have a shared goal of creating better outcomes for children with autism. Williams’ care features the blue puzzle piece that has become an international symbol for autism awareness.

“Just because you have autism doesn’t mean you can’t do amazing things in this world,” Williams told Disability Scoop.

Williams has wanted to be a NASCAR driver his whole life. He hopes to race more in the ARCA Series and eventually the Truck Series, and then, the Cup Series. On top of his emerging racing career, Williams is also studying mechanical engineering at Oakland University near Detroit.

“Just as long as you put in the hard work, just as long as you have the right support system and you believe in yourself in what you want to do in life and be successful at, many things will be possible,” Williams said.

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