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NASCAR artist Sam Bass dies at 57

Bass' artwork was renowned by race fans worldwide as he helped create some of the most iconic car designs in NASCAR history.
Credit: AP
NASCAR artist Sam Bass stands outside his studio and gallery in Concord, N.C., Friday, May 17, 2002, with a race car painted with a Monopoly scheme during a news conference announcing Bass' latest project, a NASCAR Collector's Edition of the famous Monopoly board game. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The family of legendary NASCAR artist Sam Bass announced that he died Saturday. He was 57. 

"It is with a sad heart that our family shares the news of our loss with the NASCAR community. Sam Bass, a loving husband, father and inspiration to us all, passed away earlier today," Denise Bass said in a statement. "Thank you for your prayers during this very difficult time."

Bass battled Type 1 Diabetes for several years and was in dire need of a kidney transplant before his death. 

Last summer, the New York-based Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation heard Bass' story and partnered with NASCAR team JR Motorsports, owned by former driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., to create a promotional video to help find a donor. 

Bass' artwork was renowned by racing fans worldwide, as he helped create some of NASCAR's most iconic paint schemes. He also designed countless works of art for drivers, team owners and race tracks throughout his career, which led him to become the first ever officially licensed NASCAR artist.