Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick is disappointed with her performance during the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, even though she currently ranks No. 10 in the driver standings. Reuters

Danica Patrick is stepping out of her NASCAR racecar to promote health awareness.

The NASCAR maven visited D.C.'s Capitol to talk with lawmakers about a program she is a part of, DRIVE4COPD.

COPD refers to chronic pulmonary disease and it causes breathing difficulties for sufferers. It involves a chronic cough and destruction of the lungs over time.

DRIVE4COPD is headed up by various groups including Patrick's NASCAR and the Country Music Association.

Patrick has a personal connection to the cause since her grandmother suffered from COPD.

I vividly recall how my grandmother struggled to simply breathe when I was younger. Over time, it became more and more difficult for my grandmother to do everyday activities and take part in family get-togethers. It absolutely tormented me to see how hard it was for her to do something so simple, like breathe, she said in a statement reported by SheKnows.com.

Patrick is also introducing new, healthier options on the menu of the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday Oct. 15.

The menu, entitled Danica Patrick Fit Fuel, will feature items such as turkey, veggie burgers, energy bars, trail mix, and an assortment of fruits and veggies.

For me, it's important to always eat healthy and balanced meals so I have enough energy for the task at hand, said Patrick. My Fit Fuel menu is loaded with healthy options, so fans can make smart choices about what they eat when they're enjoying the races.

The healthier options will be a welcome sight since some of the dishes currently offered include the funnel bacakonator which combines funnel cake and bacon.

At 29-years-old, Patrick is currently the third highest paid female athlete, with an annual income of $12 million, according to Forbes.