Sam Bass, the affable artist who designed some of NASCAR’s most iconic cars and program covers, announced Sunday morning that he is starting dialysis and needs a kidney transplant.
Bass, who created the design for Jeff Gordon’s rainbow No. 24 car, has Type 1 diabetes. In 2008, Bass lost the lower portion of his left leg. In 2014, a blood infection led to septic shock and he needed four surgeries within three weeks to survive.
Bass has done artwork in NASCAR since 1981 and began designing the program covers in 1985 for Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The first officially licensed artist of NASCAR designed the Budweiser No. 8 car Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his Cup debut with in 1999, the No. 3 Wheaties car Dale Earnhardt drove in the 1997 Winston and the 1988 Miller High Life car Bobby Allison drove to victory in the Daytona 500.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove one of Bass’ latest designs last month at Auto Club Speedway.
Bass opened a new studio minutes from Charlotte Motor Speedway in September.
For more information on kidney donation, go to the National Kidney Registry site.