Meet the African American Drag Racer Making History With Just One Arm - Al Roberson

Meet the African American Drag Racer Making History With Just One Arm – Al Roberson

Al Roberson, sometimes known as “Al Boogie” on the racetrack, is a famed African American grudge drag racer. He has won more races in the ‘no-time’ category than any other racer in history!

This summer, Al “Boogie” Roberson and his formidable team, The Southern Assassins, will return to the tracks, bringing their world-famous, gluttonous beast of a car, Honcho the Camaro, with them.

Grudge drag racing draws thousands of spectators every weekend across the United States and around the world, with cars that look like they want to devour you, yet none appear to be as strong and quick as Al Boogie’s Honcho.

Al Boogie is sitting in his garage (an undisclosed location for security reasons), in jeans and a t-shirt, sipping calmly on a beer, seemingly unaware that he’s turned grudge racing on its head. The best part? He can only drive with one arm! Despite this, he is the most successful racer in the sport, having lost only ten races since the early 1990s.

The Southern Assassins, which included Al Boogie and teammates Rick and Clint, spent $175,000 to build Honcho the Camaro. “No automobile has ever defeated Honcho,” Boogie boasted. He grins mischievously when asked what’s under the hood. “I could tell you, but that would mean killing you.” Yes, it appears that this trio of Mech Techs is capable of transforming even a Pinto into a tar-burning Carantula!

Al Boogie’s climb to grudge domination was abruptly halted by a seven-year stint in federal prison on a drug-related charge. “I was set up,” Boogie explained. “But then, aren’t we all?” Al Boogie and The Southern Assassins have been chapping hides on drag tracks all over the world since their debut in 2016. “We’ve never shied away from a challenge,” he’d like us to remember.

Al Boogie grew up in North Carolina, where there was no running water. But when he was twelve, his stepfather let him drive the family hotrod. “He let me rev it up and get a feel for its power.” Al was hooked after that.

For Al and The Southern Assassins, a day at the racing begins simply enough. Following a few practice runs with the squad, the boisterous Al Boogie kicks off the tournament with some well-YouTubed smack-talk against his competitors (all in good fun), followed by some quick banter with the crowds and journalists. Then the Southern Assassins unleash Honcho, the gluttonous Camaro beast, across a 660-foot stretch of pure chaos!

Right then, Al “Boogie” Roberson spoke reverently. “At the start lane, you’re strapped into this mammoth machine, and that’s when the anxiousness kicks in.” You know you’re in for a wild trip in a matter of seconds. You’re on your own now, and you say a prayer.”

Drivers are not allowed to reveal how fast their cars run in the grudge racing realm. That’s OK. It’s clear that The Southern Assassins’ motivation is — mad.


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