Keith Berry is staying positive and he’s hoping that helps keep Woostock intact for next month.
His fourth annual event is slated for April 16-18 at Darlington Dragway, making it one of the next major races that could have its fate decided by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Thus far, though, Berry is holding strong.
“Our message is Woostock is 100 percent a go,” Berry said. “We want to stress it’s a go April 16-18. As of (Tuesday), it’s 100 percent a go. We’re charging forward with that date in mind.”
Berry isn’t backing down from that belief, hoping that a month from now, he’ll be putting together one of the biggest drag radial events of the season.
In that regard, his fingers are crossed. Resiliency, pushing forward and maintaining a positive mindset are his biggest resources at the moment, knowing the boon the event could provide to the racing community.
With the postponement of Donald Long’s Sweet 16 event, which was pushed from this coming weekend to October because of the coronavirus, Woostock would be the next major event to feature Radial vs. the World, grudge racing, and Lance Stanford’s and Travis Harvey’s Carolina N/T Small Tire racing.
“The enthusiasm this year is already huge,” Berry said. “With Donald postponing the Sweet 16, it’s just put fuel on the fire. It’s going to be big. There’s been a lot of enthusiasm, media involvement and the caliber of racers we have is just great. There’s a lot of great people involved. We may reap the benefits, we may not. In my gut, I think it’s going to be a go, but who knows.”
The caveat in all this, unfortunately, is Berry may not have a choice.
All major motorsports events have been postponed over the course of the past week, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow.
NASCAR has postponed all racing through April, while NHRA released a statement on Monday stating it looks to resume action the weekend of April 17-19 when the series is in Houston.
That’s the same weekend as Woostock, which is another reason why Berry remains hopefully optimistic about his event.
Of course, other sports are postponing much further out, with many preparing for the fact that action may not take place until summer.
Berry does have a contingency plan in place, He has tentative dates for May set, but that’s a bridge he’s not crossing yet.
“It’s going to be a blessing either way. We just have to play it by ear,” Berry said. “I’m in constant communication with everyone. If it’s not a good thing for the racers or the fans, we won’t take the chance. No. 2, if the government says no more than 10 people or 100 people or whatever, that is what it is. That being said, I’ll listen to my gut, but if we’re taking a chance and it could possibly spread the virus, we won’t have it (in April).”
Berry said he’ll make that decision of whether to hold the race or postpone it in about two weeks up until 10 days before the race.
He’ll look at the state of things, government regulations and the situation with the coronavirus before a final call, but Berry is adamant that April is the goal. He’s also not going to budge on the Darlington Dragway location and remains firm that Woostock will take place there at some point in 2020.
“This race is never going anyplace else. We’ll know the right decision (for the date), but right now Woostock is a go April 16-18,” Berry said. “I can’t predict the future and if we have to, we’ll change the date, but it’s a go right now.”