Danica Patrick, at times, can be a polarizing figure in NASCAR. But there’s no debating she’s an inspiration for legions of racing fans. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s influence is incredibly broad, but was narrowed in heartwarming fashion Monday in an episode of ESPN’s ‘My Wish’.
The piece centers around 18-year-old Gabrielle Jahn, who suffers from a rare, progressive and incurable neurological disorder. Despite being told she’s bound for life in a wheelchair, Jahn remains active and ambitious, including being a part-time racecar driver. The opportunity to meet Patrick, her biggest role model, was Jahn’s wish. The driver of the No. 10 Ford Fusion granted the request — and then some — ahead of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
It remains to be seen whether Patrick will be around NASCAR long enough to grant more wishes like this. But, whenever she leaves the sport, it’s clear NASCAR will lose one of its most impactful and important stars.