TOLEDO, Ohio (Oct. 9, 2017) -- After weeks and weeks of busting up and down the ARCA trail, it's nice to get a pause in the action. It certainly is for Mike Basham, who on this past weekend, helped out the local Henryville, Ind. high school. If you don't know where Henryville is, you still probably know where Basham was over the weekend. If you haven't been there, quite possibly, you've seen it.
"I'm at the golf course right behind Salem Speedway," said Basham. "I'm doing a little golf scramble for the school. It's a pretty good team I'm on, but I'm the weakest link so I thought I could help myself out and get a little practice in beforehand."
After some fun on the course, Basham's going to back work on ole No. 34 to get ready for the season finale at Kansas Speedway Oct. 20.
"I'm going to try and work a little on the car…mainly the transmission I tore up at Kentucky. If I would learn to just take what I got instead of trying to outrun one of those good cars I'd be in a lot better shape."
"One of those good cars" Basham is referring to is no doubt a newer composite car which has taken the series by storm since its debut in 2015. Darrell Basham Racing, which still campaigns the legacy steel-bodied cars, currently has no composite cars in the shop.
"Not sure really what's going to happen for next year. We gotta see what we got left…make sure we have a car left after Kansas. It'd be nice to have a new body but I’m not sure that's in the budget. These steel cars are really thinning down…won't be long before there are no steel cars left."
In the meantime it's back to work on the steel car for Kansas.
"I said me, but Dad's (Darrell Basham) going to fix it. The transmission was already a little tore up from last year. I can't do it but Pop can. He's pretty sharp on these cars to be honest. He saved us this year at Madison. He took the thing (engine) apart and knocked it all back together right before the race. We didn't get any practice at Madison, but we sure ran good in the race and had a good finish. I was pretty pleased with that. I couldn't do it without his knowledge."
Madison wasn't the only track that Basham ran respectably well.
"I thought we had a good run at Winchester (13th)…ran good at Salem, Chicagoland. We've had some good finishes this year…really felt good about Madison with no practice. I had the wrong gear in at Pocono…didn't get any practice but ran okay. We haven't done bad at all."
If the Bashams can get their transmission squared around for Kansas, set-up-wise, the longtime ARCA team should be in good shape.
"Outside of Kentucky having different banking at one end compared to the other, Chicagoland, Kansas, Kentucky…they're all about the same to me. We take the same set-up for all three tracks."
The Bashams also get set-up help from Kimmel Racing, which donates shop time and equipment to Basham's cause. The two organizations are longtime friends.
"Since Will and Bill started helping us, it's made a big difference at the track. I hate to admit it, but Will and Bill made the car faster than the driver. They'll set it up, let me help, watch and learn."
Basham, who finished 10th at Springfield last year, had a great run going this year on the Springfield mile dirt, but got caught up in a crash.
"Our schedules got so big, we haven't had time to get the Springfield car over there (to Kimmel's shop). Not sure what can be done with it. Everyone, at this point, is focused on Kansas so that takes precedent over everything else."
Darrell Basham Racing: Team patriarch Darrell Basham made his first ARCA start at Daytona Int'l Speedway in 1972 and has been a part-time or full-time fixture on the ARCA tour ever since. Darrell has 334 career starts overall. The independent trucker from Henryville has been a fan favorite for decades. His resilience and positive can-do attitude took center stage in 2012 when he kept a full-time ARCA schedule despite a devastating tornado that destroyed his race shop…all that after a garage fire nearly cleaned him out in 2010. And now you can add cancer survivor, a fight he's been up against over the last two years. A recipient of the Marcum Award in 2012, Darrell finished a career-best 10th in championship points in 2011. Darrell and his son Jason Basham (not pictured) are the only father/son duo to finish in the top-20 driver points in same season (2009). Mike, the subject of this story, finished 10th in driver points in 2016.
Kansas ARCA 150 kicks off Triple-Header Weekend
The Kansas 150 also serves as the show-opener for big triple-header weekend of racing to include the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday and the Monster Energy Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 Sunday.
The Kansas 150 marks the 17th consecutive ARCA race at Kansas since the series debuted on the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 2001 – Jason Jarrett the inaugural winner. Other ARCA winners at Kansas include Frank Kimmel, Shelby Howard, Ryan Hemphill, Chad Blount, Scott Lagasse, Jr., Scott Speed, Parker Kligerman, Ty Dillon, Alex Bowman, Spencer Gallagher, Mason Mitchell and Chase Briscoe.
Practice for the Kansas 150 is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 20, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 2:30 p.m. The 17th Kansas ARCA 150 is scheduled to get the green flag at 7:47 Friday night, with live coverage on FS2. ARCAracing.com will also feature Live Timing and Scoring and Live Chat of all on-track activities.