- Racing is often a family business. For the Basham family, racing in the ARCA Menards Series is a huge part of the family’s identity. When the season started, neither father Darrell nor son Mike Basham had any plans to race in any of the twenty races on the 2019 schedule.
When the season was over, Mike had started half of the races and closed the year with a pair of top-15 finishes. Not too shabby for no plans to race.
Mike split his 2019 season between his father’s No. 34 Chevrolet, Andy Hillenburg’s No. 11 Toyota, and Bill Kimmel’s No. 69 Fords, making him one of a few drivers to drive three manufacturers in a single season. In fact, Basham drove Kimmel’s Ford, Hillenburg’s Toyota, and his father’s Chevrolet in consecutive starts making his feat even more impressive.
For most of the season, Basham was unfortunately forced to pull in early. The first eight of his ten starts in 2019 ended before the one-quarter mark. But his last two starts, both driving for Darrell Basham Racing in his family’s home state of Indiana – at Salem Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway – resulted in a pair of thirteenth-place finishes. Those two races, the last which his father’s old steel-bodied Chevrolet would be eligible to compete in, were emotional for the Basham family as they are unsure of their plans going forward.
Entering the off-season with no 2020 plans, the Basham family may have reached the end of the road in the ARCA Menards Series, a path that can be traced back to Darrell’s first ARCA appearance at Salem back in 1973. But based on starting half the races in 2019 without any plans to do so prior to the start of the season, it’s a fairly safe bet we’ll see the Basham family at the track again in 2020.
ARCA’s 67th season will come to a close when Christian Eckes will officially be crowned the 36th ARCA Menards Series champion on Saturday, December 14 at the Championship Banquet held at the Indiana State Convention Center, held annually in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. Tickets to the black tie gala, which are also available to the general public, are on sale now.