Sam Bass, Charlotte Motor Speedway Mark Artist's 75th and 76th Souvenir Program Cover During 10-Day Blockbuster of Racing
For nearly 30 years, Sam Bass has left his mark on Charlotte Motor Speedway with his one-of-a-kind artwork gracing the covers of souvenir programs for all three of the legendary speedway's premier NASCAR events.
When fans make their way to the speedway during the 10-Day Blockbuster of Racing this year, they'll have the opportunity to purchase a keepsake program featuring the 75th (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) and 76th (Coca-Cola 600) consecutive cover designed by the first officially licensed artist of NASCAR.
"I am so very proud to get to design and paint the program covers for Charlotte Motor Speedway," Bass said. "There is always so much going on here during The 10-Day Blockbuster of Racing each year. It is a tremendous challenge, yet a lot of fun to always try and create a unique look for each program."
Bass designed his first program cover in May 1985. Collaborating with officials at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he brings new life to historic moments, creates colorful renderings and highlights features unique to Charlotte Motor Speedway in each of his pieces.
A single program cover takes Bass between 120 and 150 hours to complete, he said. In total, that represents more than 10,000 man hours spent creating his unique artwork for Charlotte Motor Speedway over the last three decades. Each piece is created as a 17-inch-by-22-inch watercolor in Bass' workshop, which sits just across the street from Turn 2 of the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
For this year's programs, Bass created two separate covers that, when placed side by side, create a larger, cohesive piece representing the 10-Day Blockbuster of Racing. Each respective cover highlights historic moments from past Sprint All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 races, including moments like The Tide Slide, One Hot Night and The Pass in the Grass.
This year's covers were perhaps Bass' greatest challenge because recent health issues sidelined the busy artist for several weeks. A severe blood infection left Bass hospitalized and facing four different surgeries. Doctors even had to remove nearly 25 percent of the tissue in his left leg to clear up the infection.
Despite the challenges, Bass said he never doubted that he would finish the souvenir program covers ahead of race weeks.
"I'd have to be dead to not do the program covers for Charlotte Motor Speedway," he said.
Fans can watch all the action of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend with a weekend pass for just $99. The pass includes frontstretch tickets for the N.C. Education Lottery 200 Camping World Truck Series race and Sprint Showdown on Friday, May 16; plus the no-speed-limit NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying, Jake Owen and Train concerts, plus the blockbuster shootout for $1 million at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 17.
With packages starting at just $99, fans can experience all the action and excitement that surrounds Coca-Cola 600 weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Coca-Cola 600 Weekend Pass. The package includes tickets to see LiftMaster Pole Night on Thursday, May 22; the NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers battle it out in the HISTORY 300 on May 24; and the historic 55th running of one of NASCAR's most prestigious events, the Cola-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 25.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).
Keep up with all the latest news from the speedway by liking Charlotte Motor Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CharlotteMotorSpeedway or following on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cltmotorspdwy.