New dancin' shoes for Darrell; Mullins in for DBR at Nashville

New dancin' shoes for Darrell; Mullins in for DBR at Nashville

TOLEDO, Ohio (April 1, 2017) -- Apparently, Darrell Basham has something in mind outside of making sure his No. 34 car shows up at all the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards events this year with someone else in the driver's seat. Why else would the 68-year-old Henryville, Indiana veteran buy a new pair of shoes?

"His surgery went super," said Basham's wife Sandy. "He wants to race in the fall race at Salem and probably Kentucky. Darrell done bought him and new helmet and racing shoes, so he must be planning something."

That in itself could be considered a miracle. Basham, diagnosed with cancer in January of 2016, hasn't raced since September of 2015. His first surgery, in June of 2016, was the first over an ongoing recovery process. The Bashams are confident that he won't need any additional surgeries.

"We thought me might be able to get back to a more normal routine a little sooner, but his recovery time after this last surgery (March 23, 2017) is going to be six to eight weeks...a little slower than we anticipated. His spirits are pretty good all things considered."

On top of all of the above, Darrell's son Mike, who was originally supposed to the drive the 34 car at Nashville, caught the crud bug and got behind on car preparation.

Enter Fredericksburg, Virginia's Willie Mullins who stepped in to save the day.

"Mike was out sick for weeks...we just got really behind, so Willie said he'd step in for Nashville, which has been a huge help."

That said, Mullins is now entered as the official driver of Basham's 34 car for the Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville Saturday night, April 8.

"We decided that about a week ago," said Mullins. "Anything we can do to help Darrell, we'll do our best. That, and I only got 10 laps at Daytona, so I still have the itch."

Mullins has never raced on an ARCA short track.

"I needed to get more comfortable in the car...we're going to be doing this for Darrell later on this year at Elko. We had one of Andy Belmont's old short track cars here...thought we'd go out and give it a ride this weekend."

So it'll be Mullins in the seat at Nashville with a whole bunch of Basham on the periphery.

"It'll be a full Basham crew there to change tires," Mullins added.

Mullins must be serious about the effort. He's already tested the car at some area short tracks, and has another test scheduled next week.

"I'm really comfortable in the car, and that was the final decision for make sure I was comfortable and ready to go."

In addition to the all Basham crew, which will also be assisting the No. 94 of Dale Shearer, the No. 34 steel-bodied legacy car will carry County Waste logos and be equipped with an ARCA Ilmor 396 engine. Tommy Bear is listed as crew chief.

Mullins has never been to Nashville.

"I've only seen it in pictures."

Mullins' next scheduled race in the 34 is Talladega, with two more behind it at Elko and Road America. However, Mullins is hinting toward a possible go at Salem.

"If something goes really good at Nashville, we might run Salem, but probably Talladega for our next one. Biggest thing...I'm just going (to Nashville) for seat-time...make sure I'm comfortable and understand what's going on."

Mullins is just glad he's able to race anywhere.

"We're really fortunate to be able to race this year. County Waste sends us so much work, putting their name on the car is our way of showing our appreciation. At the same time, we get to work with Darrell Basham Racing. What could be better than that?"

Discounted presale tickets for the event are available for $25, a $5 discount off raceday ticket prices. They are available by calling the event promoters Track Enterprises at 615-470-5214 or 217-764-3200.

Don Radebaugh

Darin A.

Get well wishes to both Darrell and Mike Basham. Hope Willie Mullins does well taking care of your #34 entry come Nashville.