They use words as “inspiring.” “powerful,”  “athletic” and “tough” to describe her. They speak of her with stars in their eyes and dreams in their hearts. They look at her as as hero.

She’s Danica Patrick, and she is an inspiration.

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Because while many of her fellow drivers have had a slew of other choice words to describe her and her driving style, it can often be overlooked just what Danica means to countless young girls who have grown up knowing that, yes, even a girl can climb into a car and race in NASCAR.

A handful of these girls recently received the shock of a lifetime, as they gathered to talk about their favorite driver and why Danica means so much to them. And when they were done, Danica walked in …and well, their reaction is priceless.

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“Seeing a girl doing a male dominated job or sport – that might be what sparks them,” Danica says in the FOX interview. “It stems from seeing what’s possible. I think of it in a ‘What’s your passion’ way, and it shouldn’t matter if boys and girls do it. It should be whatever it is that you like to do and what dominates your life.”

Watch as a NASCAR superstar shocks a room of young fans Twitter/@NascarOnFox
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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