Drag Radial Derelicts, Wheels up at Wooostock 2017
Words and Photos by Wes Taylor
Keith Berry, leader of the Wooo Nation, traded his driving suit for an event promoter’s cap and hosted the first annual Wooostock in conjunction with Lance Stanford and Travis Harvey at the legendary Darlington Dragway in Hartsville, South Carolina recently. We’re glad he did. The dynamite Drag Radial derelicts race didn’t disappoint.
What prompted Berry to team up with Stanford and Harvey began five years ago when he and his wife were rolling out of South Gregoria Motorsports Park following another insane Lights Out event hosted by DuckX Promotions. The idea popped into his mind that he wanted to host an event of that nature but more extreme. Life and a busy schedule got in the way and Berry’s thought remained just that…a thought. However, the fleeting idea never left his mind and after winning Lights Out 7 in 2016 Berry felt he had reached the mountain top in racing. Although he had just won the mother of all Drag Radial events, he felt he had done all he could in this popular quarter-mile scene. The desire to drive dissipated, supplanted by the urge to go big with his long coveted idea for an event. The love for racing was there but it was headed in a different direction.
When Berry attended a “No Time” event (no ET or speed displayed on the scoreboards), he met fellow event promoters Lance Stanford and Travis Harvey, igniting the idea for what would become Wooostock. With his driving suit hung up, Wooostock started to gain traction. With Stanford pushing Berry closer and closer to pulling the trigger, a date and location were locked down and the first annual Wooostock was set.
Fast forward to the week leading up to Wooostock. Berry, along with his staff, arrived three days early to a freshly paved Darlington Dragway. It still needed to be ground smooth. Faith was in the hands of Darlington’s staff and they promised the track would be race-ready come Friday morning. They got ‘er done and then some!
Lights, camera, action! The first annual Wooostock was nothing short of spectacular. Quite honestly, it was pure insanity. The action from small tire classes such as Radial vs. the World, No Time, X275 and Limited Drag Radial had fans on the edge of their seats all weekend if they weren’t packed in behind the starting line. Even during the downtime, there was frantic pit thrashes, people watching, gambling, rambling and midway magic.
As the sun went down Saturday evening and the air cooled, records began to fall. Stevie “Fast” Jackson set a new RvW record with a 3.717-second eighth-mile lap barely edging out Barry Mitchell who went a 3.74 both at 198 mph. That side-by-side final round also stamped it as the quickest side-by-side RvW pass in class history. Think about that, from a dead stop to 660 feet in just 3.7-seconds pushing 200 mph on a 315 Drag Radial tire without wheelie bars…talk about power management!
Not only that, how about taking a tiny 275 Drag Radial tire, stick it under a car capable of making upwards of 3,000 horsepower and try to get down the eighth-mile mile in under four seconds flat? That’s right, not one but TWO X275 racers were able to accomplish this amazing feat Saturday night. Zif Hudson was able to bust out a 3.99 at 199 mph then backed it up with a nearly identical pass in his single turbocharged Racecraft Foxbody Mustang. When it came to the X275 final round, Larry Roach came out on top adding his name to the record books as the second driver to break into the three-second zone in his screw-blown ‘64 Nova.
If all of that wasn’t enough, stacks on stacks of green Benjamins were being laid out left and right during the intense No Time grudge racing. Literally, hundreds of fans packed the starting line, cash in fist. The racers stepped up and laid it all out on the line, never lifting as they skated down the track for big bucks. This is how ya do it!
We chatted with Keith Berry a few days following the event and he assured us Wooostock is here to stay. He also confirmed Darlington Dragway is Wooostock’s “forever home” as long as they’re willing to host it. The feedback from fans, racers, sponsors and vendors was off-the-charts positive and the turn style turnout was way better than expected. Gear up for next year! Berry and his guys moved it away from the Easter holiday weekend, scheduling Wooostock #2 for April 12-14, 2018. Bring yo Benjamins!