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The task at hand, for racing fans, is Danica Patrick at the Daytona 500.

How will she fare in the Premium Motorsports No. 7? Will she finish with a respectable showing? Will she finish at all? It makes for an excellent spectacle for racing fans, because she’s leaving her NASCAR career the way she wants — with one final Cup Series race, at the Great American race, to boot.

But while she’s preparing for her final laps around the track, she’s also preparing for her life off it. We know that she has a burgeoning business empire, with books, a clothing line, and maybe even a cooking show in the future (she is huge on healthy eating).

But in addition to all of that, Patrick takes pride in her ability to be a role model for young girls and women, and she showed that side of her on Instagram. She spoke directly to her fans on an issue that’s so important to so many — body image. And she used herself as an example.

I posted a before and after pic a while back that showed the difference between a stylized pic and “normal”. This is same lighting, same pose, just a clothing adjustment. Girls, it’s easy to look at pictures on social and get wrapped up in perfection. I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else. As long as you’re putting in the work and eating well, your body will respond. But more importantly, your mind will. You will start saying things like – I can, I will, I’m strong, I feel good, I am happy…… the looks just come as a result of loving yourself through respect and positive self talk. No matter what your shape is, confidence and joy shine way beyond the physical. My goal in life is to be light. To be that person that walks into a room or up to someone and they just feel better. That’s has nothing to do with the way I look. But, I bet It looks beautiful to someone who needs it. And don’t we all want to be lit up? Now go be someone’s light today. Or many if you can!

I posted a before and after pic a while back that showed the difference between a stylized pic and “normal”. This is same lighting, same pose, just a clothing adjustment. Girls, it’s easy to look at pictures on social and get wrapped up in perfection. I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else. As long as you’re putting in the work and eating well, your body will respond. But more importantly, your mind will. You will start saying things like – I can, I will, I’m strong, I feel good, I am happy…… the looks just come as a result of loving yourself through respect and positive self talk. No matter what your shape is, confidence and joy shine way beyond the physical. My goal in life is to be light. To be that person that walks into a room or up to someone and they just feel better. That’s has nothing to do with the way I look. But, I bet It looks beautiful to someone who needs it. And don’t we all want to be lit up? Now go be someone’s light today. Or many if you can!

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

It’s an excellent example of what Danica Patrick is becoming — a passionate role model and spokesperson for the issues that are important to her. For all of her firsts on the track — first women to win an IndyCar race, first woman to take the pole at Daytona — all of those accomplishments seem like they’ll be dwarfed by what she can do in this next phase of her life.

As she prepares for the Daytona 500, Danica Patrick is already doing work towards her next career Monster Racing via Twitter
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