Sam Bass Unveils Artwork for Charlotte Motor Speedway Souvenir Programs
Renowned motorsports artist Sam Bass, along with Charlotte Motor Speedway officials, unveiled two original paintings Monday that will serve as the covers for the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race souvenir programs.
“All-Star Brawl!” is the title of the art gracing the cover of the program for the 26th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, while “Let Freedom Race!” appears on the cover of the 51st Coca-Cola 600 program. The two collectable program covers are designed to be viewed side-by-side to create a full scene capturing the themes and parallels of each race.
“These are two of the coolest covers I’ve ever done, with the two paintings thematically carrying from one piece to the other,” said Bass.
Bass’ illustration “All-Star Brawl!” captures the “Backyard Brawl” theme of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. For the second consecutive year, the speedway has engaged 16-time World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Ric Flair to promote the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race through print, radio and television advertising, and Bass has featured Flair prominently on the cover of the program. Flair is flanked by five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers including defending NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race champion Tony Stewart, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.
“I really wanted to feature these modern-day heroes in the artwork and stay true to the theme of the race,” Bass said. “I’ve got Kyle Busch in the mix as well, because he truly serves as NASCAR’s villain and Carl Edwards is also featured because to me he does the most wrestling-like race win celebration of all drivers with his back flip.”
Also in the art, cars driven by Stewart, Busch, Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon are seen driving into Turn 1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is the most Hollywood-like race on the circuit, and if you couple that with the fact it’s a night race, that makes the artwork so fun to paint,” said Bass. “The colors are vivid, there are sparks flying off the cars, it’s just neat subject matter to capture.”
A checkered flag serves as the backdrop of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race program cover, while an American flag is featured in the Coca-Cola 600 cover. A salute to the U.S. armed forces is the theme of the “Let Freedom Race” artwork for the Coca-Cola 600 souvenir program.
“This piece parallels the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race piece,” said Bass. “Racing heroes are celebrated on that program and on the Coca-Cola 600 cover, our military heroes are the focus.”
Several branches of the U.S. military are represented, as ground forces as well as military aircraft and ships are included in the artwork.
Bottle caps featuring the car numbers of each Coca-Cola Racing Family member become part of a fireworks display in the night sky. Cars driven by Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are seen driving out of Turn 2 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as a continuation of the cars-on-track scene from the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race cover.
This latest pairing between the artist and the track marks the record 62nd program cover Bass has designed for Charlotte Motor Speedway, which dates back to the inaugural NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola’s first year as the title sponsor of the Memorial Day Weekend race. Bass also designed the cover for the inaugural event at zMAX Dragway, the 2008 NHRA Nationals, and is responsible for the design of Lug Nut, the official mascot of Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Sam Bass is the most accomplished artist and graphic designer in NASCAR. Since 1987, he has created race team graphics for corporate America’s leading sponsors, NASCAR team owners and drivers. He is also known for his fine-art original paintings and a distinctive style when it comes to his design of track program covers, racing-themed ad campaigns, posters, apparel and custom shop guitars. His personal studio and motorsports art gallery in Concord, N.C., are adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway. He is the first officially licensed artist of NASCAR. For more information call 704-455-6915, or log on to www.sambass.com.
Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS. Friends and family four-pack tickets start at just $39.75 per person for the Coca-Cola 600 and at $35 per person for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 22.