Danica Patrick rolls through Capitol Hill
© Getty

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick made a stop at the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss an issue close to her heart.

The path-breaking driver highlighted the importance of families getting life insurance at a meet-and-greet event hosted by the Financial Security and Life Insurance Caucus.

“So you never know when dramatic, tragic, life-altering scenarios knock at your door and you have to answer them,” Patrick told a crowd of Hill staffers and other guests.

Patrick noted the dangers of her professional career, which require her to drive at speeds of up to 200 mph. 

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“Last weekend at Talladega, I crashed. I didn’t do it by myself. I had plenty of help from all of my smart friends around me that were crashing as well, but I hit the wall,” the 35-year-old driver of the Aspen Dental No. 10 car said.

“I was fine,” she added.

Educating the American public about life insurance is important to Patrick because both of her parents lost their fathers at young ages and neither was insured. Patrick’s maternal grandmother was forced to sell the family farm as a result of the loss.

“So both of them lost their fathers very, very young and especially my mom very suddenly,” she said.

Patrick also served as a national spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month in September.

According to a 2016 study conducted by the non-profit industry groups Life Happens and LIMRA, 60 percent of Americans report having life insurance, but advocates want that number to climb even higher.

Former Sen. Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho), now president of the American Council of Life Insurers — an industry advocacy group — introduced Patrick. He said life insurance was important to help families protect their dreams.

“We ... want to make sure that if something unfortunate happens, if somebody tragically is lost, it does not include the loss of the dreams that person had for their loved ones,” Kempthorne, a former Interior secretary and Idaho governor, told attendees.

The event also featured racing-themed cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake and a chance to snap pictures with Patrick.

This story was updated at 4:58 p.m.