Winner of 300 races, Basey dies at 63
Ed Basey, the 2003 Carolina Clash champion who among 300 dirt racing victories won on the Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series, Southern All Stars and Clash circuits, died this morning after a battle with cancer, family members announced. The Evans, Ga., driver of No. 4 Late Models that frequently carried “The Gambler” nickname was 63. | Slideshow
The eastern Georgia driver primarily won at tracks throughout the Peach State and the Carolinas during a career that stretched from the early 1980s to the late 2000s. Among his further-flung victories was a 1991 Hav-A-Tampa triumph at Putnam County Speedway in Satsuma, Fla., during Florida Speedweeks.
His achievements included titles at South Carolina tracks in Modoc, Columbia and Batesburg while his lone touring championship came during a nine-victory season in 2003 when he won a single Carolina Clash race in capturing the series title.
"I wouldn't take nothing for it,” Basey said after winning the Carolina Clash title. “Because it's something you can give yourself, your crew, your family and your sponsors. Something nobody can take away — a series title. It was tough, but well worth it.”
Basey, whose career was cut short by neck-related health issues, won five career Carolina Clash events and two apiece on the Hav-A-Tampa and Southern All Star tours. Major victories included a 1985 street stock triumph at Pennsboro (W.Va.) Speedway, Stick Elliott Memorial victories at Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, S.C. (1990 and ’95) and two Road to Charlotte events. His last victory came Aug. 9, 2008, at Gordon Park Speedway in Grovetown, Ga.
The racer who drove extensively for Newby Racing (often in a Walter Newman Race Car) and was among drivers sponsored by Hall of Fame racing supporter Jack Starrette gained further notice in recent years thanks to fellow Evans, Ga., standout Brandon Overton, who in 2020 and ’23 piloted cars with graphics schemes paying tribute to former Basey entries.
Former Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway owner Paul Purvis also restored a former Basey car for last year’s Southern Dirt Track Racers Reunion in Swainsboro.