Darrell Basham Has a Little Help and High Hopes at Daytona
Overcomes odds with a little help from his friends to get to Daytona
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 7, 2011) - Darrell Basham has been a fixture in the ARCA Racing series presented by Menards garage since 1972, but after he lost almost everything in a mid-November race shop fire, Basham thought his racing career had come to a heartbreaking halt. When Basham rolls into Daytona's famed 2.5-mile Superspeedway for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, Feb. 12, it will be thanks to the help and hearts of the ARCA community.
While Basham was away, his race shop erupted in flames, burning to the ground. Losing almost everything, he was faced with the harsh reality that his 30-year racing career, could be coming to an end. Doubtful for the future, Basham's faith was restored when he received an unexpected phone call from a fellow member of the ARCA family.
"My building burnt down over the weekend," explained Basham. "That Monday, Monday morning, Andy (Belmont) called me and said, 'We're going to get you to Daytona, trust me. We're going to get you to Daytona. I've already talked to Nick Ramey (Roush/Yates Engines) about you.'"
Belmont, who knows all about keeping racing in the family, has two of his sons getting in on the act this weekend at DIS. Andrew and Kyle Belmont will be teaming up together to tackle crew chief and car chief responsibilities for the No. 34 Industrial Depot Ford.
"Whatever he (Belmont) can help me with I'll take his advice, he's a good racer," said Basham. "I really like Andy as a person, and I love his kids. He's got the best kids that ever lived. They're great."
Running a superspeedway car given to him by Andy Belmont Racing equipped with an engine Roush/Yates Engines donated, Basham comes to Daytona with renewed spirit and high hopes for a good finish.
"I'm excited about this- this is better equipment than I have ever owned. We have a Roush/ Yates engine, which are some of the best out there. I have some pretty high expectations with this car, and I think I am going to be able to pass some cars this year."
Darrell Basham and the No. 34 Industrial Tools Ford Fast Facts:
Basham at Daytona: DarrellBasham has made 10 starts at Daytona International Speedway throughout his ARCA Racing Series career. To date, The Henryville, Ind. native has two ninth-place finishes at DIS (1976, 2009).
A Family Affair: Continuing the tradition of Belmont's family-run team, Andrew and Kyle Belmont will be splitting crew chief and car chief duties on the No. 34 Industrial Deport Ford for the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. At only 18 and 16 years old, Andrew and Kyle are sure to be the youngest crew chief/car chief combo in the garage but certainly not the most inexperienced.
This Week's Ford: Darrell Basham will be piloting the car named "Christi". It was formerly a Yates car that was purchased from Christi Passmore. This car has been driven in the ARCA series by Brett Butler and Andy Belmont. The body was a lift- off body from Wood Brothers/JTG Daugherty racing.
Industrial Depot On Board: Basham will sport Industrial Depot on his Ford at Daytona International Speedway. Industrial Depot and Andy Belmont Racing have had a long-standing relationship, but this will be the first time they are on the hood of an ABR car as primary sponsor.
Autographs: Fans will have the chance to meet Darrell Basham and all of their favorite ARCA Racing Series drivers on Saturday, February 12 from 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. EST during an all-access open garage.
Basham Explains: It was a group effort to get to Daytona:
"My building burnt down over the weekend. That Monday, Monday morning Andy called me and said 'We're going to get you to Daytona, trust me. We're going to get you to Daytona. I've already talked to Nick Ramey about you.' I was really, really down. And I just said Andy, let's just see what happens and he said look, let me make this offer to you. I've got a car and I've already talked to Nick, he's going to work on a motor and maybe we can get it and maybe we can't. So, that made me feel some better but he can't do that. How are you going to get all this together? I needed transmissions and gears and he did it. It's beyond me that anyone would have enough goodness in their heart to do this. Andy and Nick together made this happen. I sure hope I don't tear his whole car up."
Kyle Belmont, Crew Chief/ Car Chief, on goals for the No. 34 for Daytona:
"We hope to keep him out of trouble. We already have a game plan set up for how the race is going to go and what we are doing for practice and because it is Daytona you kind of just run what you got."