CONCORD, N.C. (April 30, 2017) - "To the NASCAR fan base and all of the great people who have supported myself and my work over the last 36 years, I wanted to address the many story gaps and questions that have resulted from the recent news about both me, personally, and my company.
"Since the economic downturn in 2008, like many in the industry, we've witnessed a slow decline. Some clients have had to withdraw from the sport, while others view graphic design services as more of a luxury than a necessity to the competition on the track. There have certainly been some upswings, and last fall, I was very excited about a new location and the increased exposure and traffic that it brought.
"As a lifelong Type 1 Diabetic, I've grown accustomed to the ups and downs of life. Over the last three years, in particular, I've experienced several complications and setbacks. Five years after a below-knee amputation, doctors found an undetected infection in my leg in February 2014, which turned into a life-threatening Sepsis infection. Another smaller setback in October of that year preceded yet another life-threatening bout with Sepsis in May 2015, which stemmed from an infection in my arm and chest. Most recently, my diabetes has led to Stage 5 Kidney Disease, requiring dialysis and ultimately a kidney transplant with hopes of a pancreas transplant, as well.
"Being diabetic comes with a whole host of challenges, but they're challenges that I am prepared to face head-on and overcome--much like the economic challenges. As you've heard, these circumstances, combined, have taken a toll on not only my health, but on my business as well. Despite our best efforts to reorganize under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court has ordered an auction of work spanning my career--including original paintings, guitars and numerous items acquired over the years as gifts from teams and samples of items I've been fortunate enough to design for sponsors.
"Although the auction is not at all by choice, the most important thing is that I love what I do and I have no plans to stop working. I plan to continue creating and designing through my dialysis treatment, and after any anticipated surgeries, I'll be back stronger than ever. I hope that the partners within the NASCAR garage and fans, alike, will continue to view my work as the premier design and illustration option within the NASCAR industry.
"Last, but not least, I'd like to thank the incredible individuals in the garage who have banded together to support me through their generous efforts being handled by MRO. The NASCAR garage is like a family and I'm so fortunate to be a part of it."
-- Sam Bass --