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Woody: Sam Bass Readies A New Guitar

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 30 2009
Some people thought that Kyle Busch was a crashing boor the last time he was in Nashville.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Some people thought that Kyle Busch was a crashing boor the last time he was in Nashville. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Nashville – Although NASCAR made no official response to Kyle Busch’s embarrassing guitar-bashing antics following his June 6 Nationwide victory at Nashville Superspeedway, it took notice.

“Mike Helton (NASCAR president) came up to me a few weeks later and said he appreciated how I handled it,” said Sam Bass, the renowned racing artist who painted the Gibson guitar that for nine years has been the track’s trademark trophy.

“I imagine there was some communication between NASCAR and Kyle that we don’t know about.”

At a Thursday press conference to promote Saturday’s Toyota Tundra 200 truck race, Bass was asked if he felt that NASCAR should have issued some sort of public response to the ugly incident. Bass smiled and said no.

“Kyle came over after he did it and said he meant no disrespect and I have to take him at his word,” Bass said. “He’s a talented driver and I wish him well. Life goes on.”

At the press conference, held at the County Music Hall of Fame, the new trophy guitar was unveiled. Gibson Guitar president Dave Berryman said the guitar is valued at $1,700 but with the Bass artwork is “priceless.”

Although Busch promised to buy more Gibson guitars to replace the one he demolished in his “rock star-style” celebration, Berryman said to his knowledge none have been ordered.

Bass, who spends an estimated 150-160 hours painting each trophy guitar, said it “broke my heart” to see Busch repeatedly slam it to the pavement.

Video of the incident went not only nation-wide but world-wide on various internet sites, and Bass said he was “overwhelmed” by the response.

“I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me since then to tell say were sorry about what happened,” he said. “It makes me feel good to know they care.”

Truck racer David Starr, fifth in the point standings, termed Busch’s behavior “disgraceful.”

“It was disrespectful to Sam, to the Speedway, to our sport and to the fans,” Starr said.

“This guitar is a special trophy. Ask any driver which trophy they’d like to have and the Sam Bass guitar would be in the top 3.”

Starr added: “Kyle made a mistake and he should have apologized for it. I never heard any of that. That’s why people look at him the way they do.”

As part of the press conference, Bass was announced the race’s grand marshal.

“I haven’t been so shocked since Kyle broke that guitar,” Bass quipped.

Retired Titans star Frank Wycheck will serve as honorary starter and wave the green flag.

Saturday’s race is the 14th stop on the 25-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule.

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, July 30 2009
8 Comments

8 Comments »

  • ALB says:

    I still shake from anger when i think about him smashing the guitar. It would have been great if a string had broken and cut his wrist, to get even. But even the guitar had more moxie and class than Kylepile. I wanted to freeze time and take it from him before he did that and put a TIMEX watch in his hand to smash. After all, they take a lickin and keep on tickin. And that is all he deserves, a watch. I can only dream of having a guitar such as a Sam Bass Gibson. Kyle is such a punk pile. I wanna punch the tv everytime they show his face. So Kyle, on this Mich. wknd….HIT THE WALL. HARD…

  • jeff says:

    next time kyle shrub wins we should let sam bass grab him by the neck and party like a rockstar !!!!!!!!!!!

  • D Jones says:

    I’m just glad that Weed won’t be racing at Nashville. The next time he does and if he wins, Sam should smash the guitar on his head.

  • cn says:

    Kyle Bush’s antics prove that there is still 1 worthless spoiled punk in the sport. Hope he hits the wall at Pocono this weekend….maybe it will knock some sense into the weasel!

  • Jimcinsc says:

    “Broke my heart” in the words of Sam Bass.

    To me, that pretty much says it all.

  • Jim says:

    How about this? Next Nashville winner gets a custom-painted Sam Bass Anvil.

  • Dennis says:

    I doubt Kyle ever thought about how many hours it took to paint that guitar. I was surprised when I saw the estimates myself.

    It was shocking to see it happen live before my eyes but it was entertaining. Though as a guitar owner, I winced as it was destroyed.

    Hopefully, Kyle will/has made good on his promise of buying more guitars.

    Can’t imagine we’ll ever see a riveting moment like that again.

  • DL says:

    Hi Larry, at ORP I heard reported that Kyle took delivery of 2 replacement guitars for himself and his crew chief, and also distributed the Bass Gibson pieces to each of his crew members, who were reported to be “thrilled” to get them.