Street legal drag racing star Bob Curran, one of the most universally well-liked gentlemen in the pit area over the last two decades, succumbed to injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident on Monday, July 30. Curran, from Bartlett, Illinois, was 53.
Spongebob, as he was affectionately known by his legions of friends from near and far throughout the industry and the sport, burst onto the street legal drag racing scene in 2001 behind the wheel of the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport that became virtually synonymous with the PRO and NMCA series throughout his career. Curran wasted little time rising to competitiveness, earning the NMCA EZ Street title in 2002 and adding another crown to his mantle in 2004 by winning the PRO Xtreme Street championship. After switching over to a Vortech-supercharged, LS-based engine combination, he claimed what would be his final series championship with the NMCA in 2013, garnering the Xtreme Street title in dominant fashion.
I cannot even get my head around this,” noted good friend Ricky Best, to whom Curran had been a groomsman in his wedding just two days prior to his accident. “I was so honored to have him as a groomsman in my wedding this weekend and am so grateful to be able to have spent his final days with him doing what he did best. Living, laughing, and having a great time like Bob knew best. I love you buddy. Rest in Paradise.”
Mike Galimi, among Curran’s closest racing pals, commented, “he was a great friend and we’ve shared so many great moments together. He is certainly a man who lived life to the fullest and made it a point to share those wonderful times with his family and friends.”
Fellow racer Greg Zoetmulder shared Best’s sentiment, adding, “This is so surreal. Bob was a good person…never a bad thing to say. He always made you smile and always helped. He was an inspirational racer and friend — always at the track cooking with Eric with his pit parties. Many drunken funny nights. I’m in tears writing this. Your Humor and smile will be missed.”
On the sidelines since 2014, Curran had been excitedly preparing his Corvette for a return to the track through the spring and summer months.
Curran leaves behind his wife, Sue, son Jeremy, and daughter Taylor.