Basham named Grand Marshal of ARCA Fall Classic


SALEM — Longtime area race driver/car owner Darrell Basham has been named Grand Marshal of the upcoming Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway.

The 70-year-old Henryville, Indiana favorite has ties to Salem Speedway that reach back to the late 1960s, before he set off on a decades-long ARCA career that got off the ground at Daytona Int’l Speedway in 1972.

“Don’t know how you could have a grander marshal,” said Basham. “I’m a grandpa, a great-grandpa and now a Grand Marshal…life is good.”

Basham’s ARCA career touched five decades with more than 300 career ARCA Menards Series national starts, including a pair of career-best fifth-place finishes at Salem in 1975. Basham was also a star in the local divisions on the Salem high-banks, earning the Salem Dash Series track championship in 1996, ’97 and ’98. Over his championship reign, he stacked up 15 career wins, including seven consecutive in ’97.

“I’ve known Owen and Beverly Thompson (Salem track owners) forever, and Richard Deaton (General Manager)…been going out there a long time. Place always feels like home to me. And I’ve been racing up and down the highways for years with ARCA. I guess ARCA and Salem together is a perfect fit for me.

“This is really a pretty good honor; I’m kind of proud of it.”

Basham, who is also a cancer survivor, is planning on entering his own No. 34 Darrell Basham Racing Chevrolet for the ARCA race at Salem. His son Mike Basham, also an ARCA veteran driver, is expected to drive the 34 car in this year’s Fall Classic.

The ARCA Fall Classic, the “Official ARCA Throwback Weekend,” will go under the lights Saturday night, Sept. 14 for 200 laps around the iconic half-mile, high-banked oval. The event also marks the 106th appearance of the ARCA Menards Series at Salem since 1955. The season championship race for the Lucas Oil Great American Stocks will precede the ARCA race.

Spectator gates open at 11:30 a.m. with practice at noon. Pole qualifying gets underway at 3 p.m. An on-track driver autograph session will get the pre-race festivities started at 5:45 followed by driver introductions at the conclusion of the Great American Stock feature.

Advance tickets are currently selling and can be purchased online at or by calling 1-888-246-7223 or 812-883-6504 during regular business hours.

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