The Hawks Honda Bloodline Continues
Story By: Savannah Rose
Photos by: Savannah Rose & Brandon Bunch
Some kids are born into great situations. But don’t think it is just luck that it happens. Someone before them worked hard to create that situation and it allows for future generations to benefit from that hard work.
Kendall Hawks is one of these kids who benefit from that hard work. Born into a family of go-fast drivers, builders, and beholders of high-performance knowledge, the Hawks family of Benchmark Performance out of Ramona, CA.
At only 12 years old, Kendall is already learning the ins and outs of racing and building UTV’s from his father, Chris. He’s homeschooled two days a week, but often takes some extra time to watch his dad work so he can learn how to wrench. When learning time is over, he puts the extended, for short reach, pedal to the metal in his Honda Talon on racetracks all around the southwest.
He started out in a Polaris RZR 170, back in 2017, and eventually made the move to the Talon. His father has had a long history with Honda, having worked for them back in his 20’s, or as Kendall puts it, “a long time ago.”
In order to make the much larger Talon fit Kendall, a few modifications had to be made. The seat goes farther forward, the pedals have extensions, and the driver’s side has a false floor, making it easier for him to drive. “I’m short,” Kendall said. “I’m only 5 feet, and the car is made for an adult, so we had to modify it.”
In addition to the height-issue modifications, Brandon from HRT Motorsports helped them modify the Honda further. The Talon now features a full TIG welded roll cage for safety, something every parent wants for their little ripper. Other features include; Method Race Wheels, Tensor tires, a new seat, and a removable steering wheel. The Talon also has an AIM Sports dash for data, like RPM’s, while he’s racing.
“It’s got a mirror,” Kendall said. “I’ve never had one before. My dad says they’re pointless, after all, racing is about what’s in front of you, and not what’s behind you.”
Kendall’s goal for racing is to win. Coming from a performance driven family, what else would you expect?
He loves to have the whole family at races with him now, including his mom and little sister. “It is just better,” said Kendall. “When it was just me and my dad at the races, the food wasn’t as good. We aren’t very good cooks, so it was usually a microwave meal.”
Kendall’s favorite behind-the-scenes story from the races took place last year at the WORCS race, when he and his friends decided to go swimming in the Lagoon on the track. And no, not in the racecar, fortunately, they just willingly jumped in!
When he’s not behind the wheel of his Talon, Kendall can be found in the dirt, either on a dirt bike, or even a mountain bike. He and his friends often ride the 70 acre area surrounding his dad’s shop, and the track they built.
Kendall also recently started learning to play the drums, and even plays on his school’s worship team, where they learn to play music. Impressive from a 12 year old while still keeping up his good grades.
He is definitely very grateful to get to do all the things he loves to do, and Kendall wanted to make sure to thank everyone who’s helped him out along the way.
“Thanks to my dad and my mom, and of course God for keeping me safe, because these things can be dangerous. And also a thank you to my sponsors, Method Race Wheels, Tensor Tires, Benchmark Performance, Sparco, Aim Sports Data, Limited Access, and ECP Powder Coating.”