Grosse Point, Michigan native Armani Williams has a good jump on his quest to win the 2016 ARCA Truck Series championship.
After a superb top-five finish in the season-opener two weeks ago at Toledo Speedway, Williams heads to Lake County Speedway not only searching for a top-five finish, but his first career win.
“Toledo went very well for us,” said Williams. “We had a good truck. The SPEAR Motorsports crew did a good job adjusting on the truck from qualifying to the race and I was patiently able to work my way through the field. We ran out of laps to have the chance for the win, but all things considered, we were satisfied with the finish.”
Despite the immense pressure to win in the ARCA Truck Series, Williams also looks to use the second race of the season to also awareness towards something very important to him. Autism.
Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at age two, Williams’ life-long dream of becoming a race car driver seemed unrealistic, but the teenager from the Great Lakes state has been on a mission to prove otherwise.
Autism is often misunderstood. It is a neurological development disorder that effects people in many different ways. Most often those diagnosed with Autism battle some social challenges and learning disabilities. Yet, many individuals are bright, talented and extremely focused in areas they find interesting. Today, over 3.5 million people in the United States live with Autism every day.
“The support is overwhelming, but I don’t want people to remember me because I have Autism, I want them to remember me for my passion and ability behind the wheel,” Williams added. “I have a lot of people that stand behind me and are helping me pursue my dreams. I don’t forget that, but I want to a driver that is living, competing and winning with Autism, rather than known as a driver with a disability. It’s important for people to understand what Autism is and how people living with it can have productive and healthy lives.
“I’m living proof of that.”
Launching his racing career at the tender age of eight, Williams has steadily and methodically built his own resume competing at local short tracks near and around his hometown with a recent emphasis on Super Mini Cup cars, where he enjoyed modest success.
His triumphs in Michigan and Indiana eventually led him to the next stage of his racing career, the ARCA Truck Series which is a pickup truck racing series which runs on numerous short tracks throughout the Midwest. Sanctioned by the Automobile Racing Club of America, the series races mid-sizes trucks with V6 and V8 engines. The 2016 season consists of a 14-race schedule which launched last month at Toledo Speedway.
Looking ahead to Lake County this weekend, Williams isn’t sure what to exactly expect, but he knows he can lean on his team for input.
“I’m taking the approach to Lake County just like we did at Toledo,” Williams added. “It’s another new track, so I’m in the same boat as Toledo. The biggest thing I want to work on is qualifying. I know if we can start better – it makes my chances of racing near the front more realistic. I know the SPEAR Motorsports guys have been working on the truck to make our No. 4 Race4Autism Chevrolet Colorado better and that’s all we can hope for.”
Fourth in points, Williams know the importance of thinking of the big picture overall.
“We’ve talked as a team that if we don’t have a winning truck, we’re just going to do the best we can,” he said. “We want to win and I think we have the capabilities of winning, we just want the championship more. Strong, consistent finishes will help us achieve that goal.”
For more on Armani Williams please visit Race4Autism.com, like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TeamArmaniRacin.
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