NASCAR artist Sam Bass will be honored on Ryan Reed's car at Darlington

BY foxsports • August 30, 2016

NASCAR's first officially licensed artist Sam Bass will be riding along with Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed during Saturday night's XFINITY Series race at Darlington Raceway.

Reed's No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford will feature Bass' name on a decal above the passenger-side window.

After being diagnosed with diabetes more than 20 years ago, Bass has overcome complications related to the disease. In 2008, he lost the lower portion of his left leg and has since battled with three cases of sepsis, a severe blood infection that can lead to death.

As a result, Bass has become an advocate for diabetes awareness, sharing his story of diagnosis at a variety of American Diabetes Association events, including the association's 2014 Father of the Year Awards in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I definitely learned the hard way what can happen if you don't properly manage your diabetes," said Bass. "If I can reach just one person and let them know how important it is to take care of yourself, it means so much to me. Ryan Reed and the Drive to Stop Diabetes team do such a great job showing people how it's possible to be successful with diabetes and I'm honored to be a part of it."

On Friday at Darlington, Bass will also do a live painting of the Lilly Diabetes' 140th anniversary logo that will be featured on Reed's throwback car, which will pay tribute to Bobby Allison's 1975 "Matador" paint scheme. Bass also had a hand in designing the scheme for Reed.

"Having such a talented artist and fellow diabetes ambassador like Sam be a part of our Drive to Stop Diabetes program and especially the race at Darlington this weekend is truly an honor," said Reed. "He's a true testament that diabetes has its challenges, but doesn't have to stop you from doing great things. I will definitely leave the artwork to him and hope to make him proud on-track this weekend."