TOLEDO, Ohio (March 23, 2018) -- An ole familiar entry just landed here at the ARCA home office when the No. 34 Darrell Basham Racing Chevrolet paperwork came in for the Music City 200 coming April 7 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. Currently, Darrell Basham is listed as the driver; but that could change according to Basham, who just celebrated his 69th birthday March 17.
"Well I'm not sure one of the boys is not going to drive it; but if not, I will," said Basham.
"Either way, we're planning to run the whole race…we'll bum the best set of tires we can bum," added the independent trucker from Henryville, Indiana.
"We still have to put a motor in it. I've got a motor that's a little fresher than the one that's in it; so we'll put that one in. It's wore out but not quite as…we'll put our least worn out motor in. Maybe we can get our least worn out driver in the car."
If Basham is a bit on the "worn out" side of the world, he's got good reason. In addition to his continual cross-country treks in his 18-wheelers to squeeze out a living, and run a race team, Basham is still recovering from cancer. Diagnosed just over two years ago, it's been a long and winding road; but Basham says he's okay.
"I feel okay…I'm up to it. Went to the doctor just yesterday…my numbers look pretty good…came down a little. He told me I need a brain transplant; but other than that, I'm okay."
The old legacy steel car that Basham would be driving is still okay too.
"Car's old, like the driver; but it's still a good piece. The Kimmels set it up last year for Kansas. If I drive it, I'm going to put an old-school style set-up on it. It'd be slower; but I'm comfortable with it."
In the meantime, it's back to the road to make a living.
"We've been so stinkin' busy with the Truck stuff. The truck business is better than it's been for years and years…it's just booming right now. This past winter was the best winter I've ever seen in the truck business and I've been in it since '78. If I had any brains, I'd quit racing and concentrate on the truck business and my retirement."
There's something else that Basham's been doing since the '70s.
"Seventies were the last time I raced at Nashville…ran a bunch of ARCA shows. Ran a NASCAR show there too; but I haven't raced there since the '70s.
"If we don't kill the car at Nashville, we're positively coming to Salem. Then we'll make our mind up after that.
"But for Nashville, I'm hoping I can get one of the boys (Mike or Jason Basham) to run the car. Right now, it's just me and Sandy. I haven't even tried to round up a crew yet."
Main thing is…Basham is feeling okay and busier than ever.
"Never going to be a hundred percent; but I’m okay. I'm not 18 anymore…I'm sure of that...but I'm okay. I'm almost as handsome as I used to be. Not quite, but close."
The Music City 200, part of an ARCA-Super Late Model double-header, is coming Friday and Saturday, April 6-7 to Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
The 200-lap ARCA national tour finale Saturday night will be preceded by a combined ARCA/CRA Super Series, Southern Super Series and CARS Late Model Tour main event to set the stage. The second event of the season for the ARCA Racing Series, on the heels of Daytona, will mark the 27th ARCA appearance at Nashville since its debut on the historic short track in 1959 when three-time ARCA champion Nelson Stacy won the inaugural 300-lap race. ARCA raced at Nashville up through 1992. After a 23-year hiatus, Track Enterprises brought the tour back in 2015. Track Enterprises will again be promoting the big weekend of racing at Nashville.
ARCA Nashville Fairgrounds Roots go back to 1959
Three-time ARCA national champion Nelson Stacy was ARCA's inaugural winner at Nashville in 1959. Other notable race winners/champions at Nashville include Jack Bowsher (ARCA champion), Don White (USAC Stock Car champion), Harold Smith (ARCA champion), Ramo Stott (ARCA champion), Moose Myers (ARCA champion), Marvin Smith (ARCA champion), David Green (NASCAR Xfinity champion) and 2015 ARCA champion Grant Enfinger. Chad Finley won last year's Music City 200. Other ARCA winners at Nashville include Andy Hampton, Red Farmer and Coo Coo Marlin, all of whom were track champions in their own locales. Nineteen-time ARCA winner Bob Schacht won three consecutive at Nashville in 1981, ’82 and ’83.
Hauler parking and Super Late Model practice is scheduled for Friday, April 6, while all racing festivities are set for Saturday, April 7 with practice beginning at 12 noon with qualifying following at 3 p.m. Racing begins at 5:45. General admission presale tickets are available for a $5 per ticket discount at https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1138614&store=17617 or by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.