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Dec 12
2016

Armani Williams reflects on ARCA Truck season, anxious for 2017

Posted by BryanL     0 Comment(s)    Add a Comment  comment-icon.png
December 12, 2016

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. ­– While 2016 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine participant Armani Williams patiently waits to find out if he has been selected for next year’s NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, the Grosse Pointe, Mich. native is utilizing the downtime to reflect on his rookie season in the ARCA Truck Series.

The effects of Hurricane Matthew forced NASCAR to reschedule their national tryout at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway from Oct. 10 – 12 to a week later which forced Williams to forgo the season finale on the ARCA Truck tour where he had been piloting the No. 4 Race4Autism Chevrolet Colorado for SPEAR Motorsports. 

The 13th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine invited promising ethnically diverse and female drivers from across North and South American to test their skills over a three-day period as NASCAR evaluates talent for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Class of 2017.

Williams, a 16-year-old African-American driver was believed to be the first Combine participant that has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Additionally, Williams was also the youngest male in the Combine and third youngest in age of the participants.

Autism is often misunderstood. It is a neurological development disorder that affects 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. 

Despite missing the last race of the season, Williams still finished in the top-10 in series points, earning the respect of not only his team but his fellow competitors.

“It was a major bummer that we weren’t able to run in the season finale at Lake County,” said Williams who ended the year seventh overall. “Being selected to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine was something I couldn’t turn down.

“I’m still anxiously awaiting the results and see if I land on the D4D roster for next season, I’m incredibly humbled by the opportunity and look forward to whatever my future has to hold.”

Should Williams not find himself on the docket for the D4D program next year, Williams is extremely optimistic about returning to the ARCA Truck Series, where he hopes his experience in 2016 will pay dividends in his sophomore season.

“We’d like to come back to the Truck tour and explore what other options may be out there on the ARCA Racing Series side,” added Williams. “Of course, it all comes down to funding, but we’re working on that. It’s a 24-hour, 7-day a week process. It never ends.

“At the same time, it makes you appreciate the opportunities I do have. As much as I’m learning on the track with my fellow friends and colleagues and especially my team, I’m learning a lot about the business side of the sport – while also being able to give my opinion and lay out ideas too.”

While waiting for his 2017 season to officially fall into place, Williams will attend next week’s Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, where he plans to network, while gain additional knowledge about the industry. 

“We were told we needed to at least go walk around, network and look around the show, so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Williams. “I’m going to go with my father – who has been instrumental in helping make my dreams come true. Without him and the support of my family, this year would not have been possible. 

Launching his racing career at the tender age of eight, Armani 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 consisted of a 10-race schedule which launched on May 21 at Toledo Speedway. Williams made nine starts in his freshman season. 

For more on Armani Williams please visit his ALL NEW website, teamarmaniracing.com, like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TeamArmaniRacin.

PHOTO CAPTION: Armani Williams, driver of the No. 4 Race4Autism Chevrolet Colorado in the ARCA Truck Series for SPEAR Motorsports.

Category: ARCA   Tag: Armani Williams reflects on ARCA Truck season, anxious for 2017


 
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