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NASCAR driver with autism makes inspiring appearance at Texas Motor Speedway

Going fast is what Armani Williams lives for. The 22-year-old is in a class of his own as a NASCAR truck driver who fell in love with racing as a kid.

FORT WORTH, Texas — One of the most inspiring drivers in NASCAR will make an appearance at the Texas Motor Speedway. 

Thousands of people will pack the stands for the 24th Annual SpeedyCash.com 220. 

Although he has been in many races around the country, it will be the first time Armani Williams experiences the North Texas track.

"It's just that feeling of just wanting to go fast again," said Williams.

Going fast is what Armani Williams lives for. The 22-year-old is in a class of his own as a NASCAR truck driver who fell in love with racing as a kid.

He knew around the age of 8 that he wanted to pursue becoming a race truck driver.

Williams said, "I would play with Hot Wheel and Matchbox cars and my mom and my dad's, my grandparents' house on the kitchen counter, our kitchen floor, I just love cars and just fast speed."

Now, speeding is his part-time job with the Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism as one of his sponsors. 

Williams is the first NASCAR driver openly diagnosed on the autism spectrum. 

Williams was born Detroit, Michigan and made his series debut at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway last August, where he earned his speedway license in NASCAR competition. 

Along with his Tundra, his appearance at the Texas Motor Speedway kicks off his limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2022 schedule.

Racing part-time is possible thanks to his sponsors and race partners -- the Doug Flutie Foundation for Autism, Inc and IceCOLD Technology.

"It's very exhilarating, said Williams, "I'm just excited to be here. You know, I've been waiting for months to just get back in a truck."

Since Williams isn't letting autism slow him down, he hopes others living with autism has a handle on pursuing their dreams.

"It's how are you going to handle the adversity and the obstacles that it's going to take? You know, that's something I had to go through being with autism," Williams said, "I pull that those belts, put that helmet on, start my engine and I'm just ready to hit it on the track and show everybody that I can do."

Williams didn't make the cut during qualifications Friday afternoon at the Texas Motor Speedway. But that won't keep him from pursuing more competitions throughout the summer racing season.

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