Often in short track racing there is that one paint scheme that catches everyone’s eye, and on most of those occasions there is significance to the creativity. On World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing opening night, Sean Bass rolled into New Smyrna Speedway (FL) with his Sportsman car, but it was not his normal livery or No. 28.
The Orlando native drove the renumbered No. 17 as a tribute to his uncle Richard Coffin and went on to win the Sportsman feature 34 years to the day in which fans last got to see the immaculate green and white colors last run around the half-mile oval.
“This is the paint scheme he ran in 1983,” Bass told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “He hit the wall down in turn three and it took his life. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years. Back then they ran the outlaw bodies like this so it was the perfect time for it.”
Not only did he take the victory on opening night, but the team returned the following Saturday to win again in the rescheduled Sportsman 50. Bass talked about the hard work involved and the honor it was to race against the track’s division champion Patrick Thomas, but the talk of the pit area continued to be the eye-catching scheme.
“My cousin Ricky, (Richard Coffin’s) son, he’s been with me every night we raced so really it’s more emotional than anything for our family,” Bass commented. “Just brings back a lot of memories. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me this week and talk to me about the paint scheme and talk about remembering when he was still around racing.
“A lot of people liked him. They called him the Gentle Giant. He was six foot six and everybody called him the Gentle Giant because he was such a nice guy. I never got to meet him, but I know he was watching over us.”
While there was a good amount of buzz surrounding the No. 17, Bass plans to bring things back to normal for the remainder of the season.
“It was more of a Speedweeks kind of thing,” Bass noted. “We’re going back to our 28 number and everything. Since he had his crash during Speedweeks we thought it would be appropriate.”
The winner across multiple different divisions throughout the last decade and a half does not have any set plans, but will certainly be a threat at tracks he attends and is also working on some additional projects.
“We’re just going to race whenever we want,” the 30-year-old said. “We have our own chassis shop now and with business the way it is it’s been really good. We’ll kind of hit and miss. We’re actually in the process of building an Open Wheel Modified so once we get it done we’ll just kind of run where we want. Maybe we’ll take both cars if they’re running on the same night around here.”
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
-Photo credit: Speed51.com