Armani Williams paving path in NASCAR

NASCAR officially kicks off the 2023 season at Daytona International Speedway in a couple of weeks.

We're entering another year when the sport has just a handful of Black drivers. Even though trucks series driver, Armani Williams is one of those few on the track, he's paving his own way. 

"I'm just happy that I've been able to get the chance and the opportunity to show what I can do," Williams said. 

Williams is breaking barriers from the cockpit. Not only is he part of a short list of Black drivers in NASCAR, he also has autism. 

"For me, I just found racing to be a path of something to how I could live my life. I wanted to be a professional race car driver," Williams said. 

There are challenges that come with being on the spectrum. But his ability to hyper-focus on the details has become a big advantage.

"You go out, strap in that car and you let it loose. Show the NASCAR world what you got," Williams said. 

Williams got to this point in his career thanks to NASCAR's ‘Drive for Diversity driver development program. It's an academy-style training program that trains top minority and female drivers.

While motorsport fans applaud NASCAR's efforts to promote change. They'd still like to see more. 

"While that is cool and that's 100 percent respect to them. as we start to grow and ascend in this sport, we want to see more African-Americans in executive seats," African-American Racers Association founder, Chris Harris said. 

But Williams says you've got to start somewhere.

"There's an opportunity where everyone can share the love and passion with this sport," Williams said.