Illness kept NASCAR's first officially licensed artist on the sidelines
It's not often that people find life at 200 mph to be calm, but after the year that Sam Bass has had, NASCAR's first officially licensed artist looks forward to returning to his "status quo" life in the fast lane. After two near death experiences over the last three months, Bass (above) plans to finally be back at the track debuting art for his 75th and 76th consecutive program covers at Charlotte Motor Speedway this month.
Excited for a new race season and busy upcoming year, Bass visited Elon University and Appalachian State University as a guest lecturer during the month of January. However, rather than making his usual February trek to NASCAR's birthplace in Daytona Beach, Fla., Bass spent NASCAR's Speedweeks fighting for his life as a previously undetected diabetic-related blood infection turned to septic shock. Four related surgeries within the time span of two and a half weeks took its toll.
"It was very touch-and-go there for a bit," commented Bass. "While the recovery process from losing more than 33% of the tissue in my left leg has been frustrating at times, for the first time in 90 days I am finally able to walk without crutches. Honestly, I'm just really happy to still be here."
Bass continued, "I haven't gone this far into the season without attending a NASCAR race since I was seven years old. At this point, I am practically counting down the days until I can return to the track. I'm very much looking forward to seeing my friends and colleagues again. I'm also excited that despite everything, I've been able to complete my 75th and 76th consecutive program covers for Charlotte Motor Speedway and I'm thrilled that my return to the sport will coincide with the May races."
With his recovery on track, Bass expects to return to his normal appearance and travel schedule beginning with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition, the Sam Bass Gallery, located adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., will be open to welcome visitors throughout the Charlotte race weeks. To view and purchase Sam's work or get information about upcoming appearances, visit SamBass.com, or connect with Sam on Facebook (facebook.com/SamBassArtist) and twitter (@SamBassArtist).
AB2 Public Relations