Safety a State of Mind for Darrell Basham

Safety a State of Mind for Darrell Basham

His mindset stems from a tragedy - that tragedy being when his garage/shop he worked out of burned to the ground in November of 2010, and with it, most everything race-related he owned.

Now, a year later, there stands a brand new garage where the other once stood, one Basham considers bigger/better and, more importantly, safer.

"We still do all the things in the new shop that we did in the old shop," Basham said.

"We paint out of this shop. We do all our body work in this shop. We build our racecars in the shop, pretty much everything, with the exception of building our engines.

"I guess the biggest difference now is that, after the fire, we're more conscious of safety, and what it means to be safer."

In other words, the whole safety concept/mindset simply occupies his mind more than it did before, and that's a good thing according to Basham.bashamnewshop.jpg

"We went from a two-car garage to a four-car, so our work space is more spread out and more organized. We've got more room to work with. Instead working directly in and around our flammables, now all of our flammables have a designated area in the shop.

"Now, we have a specific area for tires, for gas, and that's the level of organization we just didn't have before because we simply didn't have the room. We certainly don't have the biggest, best shop, but it's a whole lot better than it was; that's for sure.

"What happened was very tragic, but some lessons were learned and we're better off for it. We have a new, safer shop, and that's a good thing."

Basham also discovered that his immediate family became his extended family when dozens of ARCA members stepped up to help, donating racecars, equipment and some of the basic essentials to get Basham to Daytona in February for the season opener.bashamcarsfire.jpg

While he's come a long way in rebuilding what he lost, many of his tools, which he accumulated over a lifetime, are gone for good. In addition to the loss of two cars, including his best/only superspeedway car, Basham lost most of his tools and spare parts.

"I had some engine parts that were over in my basement that we saved, but all the good stuff I had, that's where it was (in the fire). It's just gone. And insurance did not replace it. But, at the end of the day, we're in a better place now - a bigger, better, safer work environment, and that's a very good thing.

"We're just thankful no one was hurt."

Basham, who made his ARCA Racing Series debut in 1972, will be making his 290th career series start at Daytona in February of 2012.

Prior to Daytona, the 62-year-old driver will be honored for his 10th place championship driver points finish at the 2011 ARCA Racing Series championship awards banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on December 10.

November 11, 2011

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