Team Honda Talon Factory Racing
Behind The Helmets
Story By: Cody Carney
Photos By: Brandon Bunch
We often talk about the growth of Powersports and how the introduction of UTVs has made a significant impact on the growth of many young potential off-road racers. Honda Talon Factory Racing and Proctor Racing Group (PRG) have taken a head-on approach in helping streamline the development of two very talented young men in the off-road industry. The Team Honda Talon Factory Racing driver lineup for 2020 introduces already well-known and accomplished short course racers Eliott Watson and Christopher Polvoorde. We recently were able to spend some time with the guys at a test session prior to King of the Hammers, and find out a little more about them—not just how they planted their feet onto a once in a lifetime opportunity, but also in regard to Campfire tradition, their backgrounds and personalities as well. (Click Here to find out more on our visit.)
After introductions were made, we stepped back before our interview with the drivers in order to allow them some time to test their freshly built Honda Talons. Even just observing from a distance, it was clear both Christopher and Eliott have well-established chemistry with plenty of history. How do two drivers who just recently got thrown onto the same team do so well together? Turns out they’ve been great friends for nearly a decade. They’re roommates and attend college together at USD, and have been racing together since they were ten years old. When the two young drivers told us the story of how they met, it was nothing but pure comedy.
Eliott: “Super funny story about each other. It was Christopher’s first year Lucas Oil Short Course race. We had our motorhome set up in the pits and we pulled the straps off the trophy kart and had the trailer unloaded. Then my dad decided to go and level the motorhome. Alright. He just left the kart there in the trailer, levels the motorhome and the trailer picks up and gets at an angle, and the kart just rolls out of the trailer.”
Christopher: “We happened to be driving by and just right into the side of the kart… smack!”
Eliott: “And yeah, that’s how we met.”
Christopher: “Then Tommy, Eliott’s dad, felt obligated to teach us some things because we showed up and we have zero racing background so we were just… just all our cars were Frankenstein and Tommy ‘supposedly’ helped us. I think a lot of it was just BS Tommy things.”
Eliott: “Yeah, that’s my dad.”
Christopher: “Since day one I’ve kinda followed him around and I mean yeah, I’d go to his house all the time. He’d go to my house.. Now we sleep next to each other.”
Eliott: “Not in the same bed! Not in the same bed!”
Now I won’t comment on the exploits of young nineteen-year-olds and college dorms, but I will say this—the boys did mention a funny story about how while in their dorm room, they ended up finding out each other’s involvement in the new program.
Christopher: “Almost a year ago, Proctor DM’d me and was like hey, can you do a call? I called him and started talking. Next thing is, I knew about everything and it was all don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell anything, so no one really knew. My father and I knew. We knew for a while and were just waiting for the deal to work out. At the time, Proctor didn’t even know we were roommates. Eliott and I signed separately before they even knew we lived together.”
Eliott: “Yeah, the story I’ve been saying is, I was talking to Proctor and you know, we tried to keep it all pretty low key from each other. Then, Jeff sent this group text to both of us and we were sitting in the room together and I was like dude, you’re the only other one in this text, what the hell? So yeah, that’s how we ended up on the same team together.”
Fast-forwarding to the current time, Christopher and Eliott have the charisma to joke around great when they’re out of the car, bouncing back and forth between each other to make the story really entertaining, but when they get behind the wheel their temperaments change tremendously. Both drivers display a high level of focus and each of them conveys their focus in a different manner. Eliott seems to be more of the reserved type. The kind that will calculate each movement, not to hold him back, but to make sure each is precise enough to help him avoid making mistakes. Whereas Christopher, being a little more rambunctious in his demeanor, is more vigorous in his movements, allowing him to jump onto more daring opportunities when needed.
Both boys are formidable drivers and distinguishable in their own right. With zero desert racing or rock racing experience, they have a long road ahead of them, especially with King of the Hammers, feasibly the hardest race for any driver, as their first challenge. However, they are excited to take on the challenge. With the support of Honda Talon Factory Racing and PRG, KOH is a ginormous stepping stone for the boys toward growing in their racing careers.
Christopher: “I think it’s huge. I mean this development program, we’re only 19 years old. We have a long career ahead of us, and to see Honda stepping in with young guys like us, it’s huge. This full factory program, I think it’s never been done in off-road, so to have that opportunity, I think it’s going to grow a ton. That’s a pretty rad thing. I think it’s just going to develop into kinda snowballing a lot more things. You know? Just since this has been released, I’ve been getting a lot of calls. Hey, you’re with Honda now? Let’s do something. It’s just opened a lot of doors, so I’m really excited, especially after this first race season, to see where it goes.”