Throughout the year, NASCAR drivers find themselves in the spotlight. But it’s what they do outside of that spotlight that truly makes them special.

In a recent segment of ESPN’s “My Wish” series, 18-year-old Gabrielle Jahn’s dreams came true when she was given the rare opportunity to spend the day with her favorite driver, Danica Patrick, during a July 1 race at Daytona International Speedway. What made this meeting even more special was the fact that not only is Gabrielle an aspiring driver in her own right, but she has also battled a rare progressive neurological disease that affects her leg function and control.

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“It’s quite humbling to think that someone, if they were dreaming as big as they wanted, put me in that dream,” Danica told ESPN. “It makes it special and important to show them a really great time.”

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And while Danica found herself out of the race early on that particular night, her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., ended up coming home with the win, meaning that Danica and her new friend Gabrielle could end up in victory lane after all.

And while Danica may still be one of NASCAR’s most polarizing figures, there is no doubt that deep down she has one of the most beautiful hearts.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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