Michigan Racer Waking Up Early, Staying Up Late for Snowball Derby

Veteran short track racer Tim Curry had a busy weekend while trying to prepare for the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby.  The Allegan, Michigan driver left for Five Flags Speedway at 3 a.m. Friday morning and drove through the day and night to attend the Snowball Derby preview.  However, that was just beginning for he and his team, also having made the 14-plus trip back north through the night to pay the bills for the biggest Super Late Model race in the country.

“We’re going to stop to take a shower at a motel and we’re heading back because my wife has to be at work at 5 a.m. Monday to buy some tires for the Derby,” Curry said after his final practice session Saturday.

It has been a strenuous few weeks for the FLF Racecars owner while the team prepared the car for their first trip to Pensacola since 2008, which included a risk taken during the Preview.

“Three weeks ago it was a bare chassis, a lot of people can just throw a car together but I’m so anal I’ve got to polish and tune everything so we spent a lot of time and got a lot of help on it,” Curry said on the Snowball Derby Preview broadcast.  “It was on the pull-up rig for the first time yesterday.  When we got here earlier today it was raining and people thought I was nuts, but I had to make some laps to make sure the wheels wouldn’t fall off and the engine wasn’t going to fall out, whether to head back to Michigan today to work on the car some more.”

Curry’s racing career began in the Sunshine State in the 1980’s before moving to Michigan.  He scored multiple feature wins and a Kalamazoo Speedway track championship before starting Finish Line Fabricating in 1997.  Over the years, he has seen some of the biggest names in short track racing go through FLF Racecars, including Senneker Performance boss man Terry Senneker.

It will be the first time Curry has climbed behind the wheel since 2017, when he competed in an Outlaw Super Late Model at Berlin Raceway.  He sees the Snowball Derby as a way to help current and future customers in ways that can only be done by climbing behind the wheel.

“A couple years ago I realized what stopped me from being a racer was my mouth.  I wasn’t going to be that guy and I started building cars and I enjoyed that,” he said.  “You look at Terry Senneker, he’s successful because he’s a really good race car driver.  When he worked for me and drove our cars he was a really good driver and when he started his own business he could get in a car and tell his customers what he needs to do.  I still feel I can get the job done as a driver to better help my customers by learning some of the stuff I need to do.  This is a brand new designed car from some of the stuff I’ve been wanting to do.  I want to know the feel so I can tell a customer if you do this, this is how it’s going to react.”

It has been a while since Curry has gotten behind the wheel of a race car, and even longer since he’s been to the Snowball Derby.  Despite the inexperience as of late, he still expects to make the 300-lap main event.

“I’ve made them all, I’ll be disappointed if I don’t make it.  I don’t know if my qualifying will be there because the damn shadow in turn four there is getting me every time, I keep driving around it down there and I know I shouldn’t,” he stated.  “To come here and run as good as we have in the three other previous years, it would be phenomenal.”

Race fans who missed the Snowball Derby Preview can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s live, free broadcast of the evening’s time trial sessions by clicking here.


Race fans interested in taking part in the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby presented by BJ’s Wholesale Club can visit 5flagsspeedway.com for ticket information.


Those unable to make the trip to Five Flags Speedway for the event can tune in live to Speed51’s broadcast of the race. Now is the perfect time to order your video ticket and take advantage of early-bird savings.


To order your early bird Snowball Derby four-day video package today, click here and use discount code “snowbird.” Individual video tickets are available for each day of racing; however, a four-day early bird video ticket offers a total savings of $38.


Individual video tickets can be purchased now at the regular price by clicking here.


For more information on the 52nd Annual Snowball Derby, visit Speed51’s Snowball Central.


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 State Editor (IN/MI)  – Twitter: @kgeyer3

-Photo credit: Trackside Racing

Michigan Racer Waking Up Early, Staying Up Late for Snowball Derby