Losing a Friend: NASCAR Mourns the Death of Sam Bass

Sam Bass taking in pre-race festivities.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Earlier today, NASCAR lost a family member. Sam Bass, the sport’s first licensed artist, passed away from complications due to illness.

Bass was 57.

His art made an impact on the sport that will not soon be forgotten. Legendary paint schemes, such as Jeff Gordon’s famous “Rainbow Warriors” Chevrolet, were courtesy of Sam’s brilliant imagination. His famous pieces seemed to freeze some of the best moments in NASCAR history -- race and championship wins -- forever preserving them at their purest forms of joy. Sam was a husband, a father, and a friend.

Across the social media platforms fans, drivers, and many more are lamenting this tremendous loss. Sam was a kindhearted and generous person. He was never without a smile on his face, even as he battled serious medical issues, even being forced to auction his belongings to pay for mounting medical bills. He still smiled. He still created. He still lived his life to the fullest.

A Sam Bass designed guitar, commemorating the 60th annual running of the Daytona 500.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Sam died while waiting for a kidney transplant. His untimely death brings to light the urgent need for organ donors. It’s a need that will unfortunately never meet its demand. Had someone qualified as a match, Sam could have received a kidney via a live donor. The kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ, and latest available statistics show that just over 30% of all transplants stem from live donors.

As our community begins to mourn this profound loss, let’s remember the great things that Sam gave us: his art, his kindness, and his friendship, among a few. Let’s live our lives to the fullest and treasure all the days we have here. Look back at Sam’s contributions to our sport, and know that a piece of him will live on forever in his creations. Smile at the memories, just as Sam would have done.

We’ll miss you, friend.

*For more information on becoming an organ donor, visit The United Network for Organ Sharing at www.unos.org.

Losing a Friend: NASCAR Mourns the Death of Sam Bass Losing a Friend: NASCAR Mourns the Death of Sam Bass Reviewed by Stephanie Stuart-Landrey on Saturday, February 16, 2019 Rating: 5