Indianapolis, Indiana (August 13, 2023) - Armani Williams, NASCAR’s first openly Autistic driver, was ready to tackle the Indianapolis Raceway Park. Both him and the team felt optimistic heading into the one day show.
“I am excited and nervous,” Armani said during technical inspection. “It is hard to get an idea how the truck will handle just from sim work. But I feel like everything will be okay.”
As practice and qualifying approached, Williams settled in to hopefully find his groove.
I’m his practice group, he was able to record the 19th quickest time of 25.054 seconds. He ran 14 laps and started to get comfortable with his No. 46 Champaign-Urbana Autism Network Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
In qualifying, Williams picked up his pace, running a lap of 24.511 seconds. That lap, at the time, but him provisionally in 3rd. Then as the field continued to qualifying, he saw his time slowly fall down the leaderboard. By the time qualifying had finished, he was not fast enough to join the 36-truck field for the evening’s TSport 200.
“I hate it for everyone,” Williams said after qualifying. “But, on a positive note, we can use it as momentum heading into our next race. Not to mention, bringing awareness to Autism and CUAN (Champaign-Urbana Autism Network) and helping educate people on it and removing the stigmas that have been placed on it.”
The entire team will regroup, as the team heads into an off-week, before heading to the Milwaukee Mile for the Clean Harbors 175. The racing action will kick off at 4pm Eastern on August 26th, with live coverage of the race on Fox Sports 1 and on SiriusXM NASCAR, Channel 90.