SEMA News—May 2022

INDUSTRY INSIDERS

10 Questions for Christopher Polvoorde

By Jay Carpio, Fredy Ramirez and Carr Winn

KOH

Christopher Polvoorde (right) after winning 1st place in the 2022 King of the Hammers Toyo Tires Desert Challenge in the T2 class with co-driver Bryce Romine. Photo Courtesy Christopher Polvoorde.

At just 21 years old, Christopher Polvoorde added some new hardware to an amazing trophy case. He passed by friends, competitors, and some of his heroes on his way to taking first place in the 2022 King of the Hammers Toyo Tires Desert Challenge in the T2 class. SEMA News caught up to Polvoorde to talk about his experience.

SN: Tell us a little bit about your backstory and how you came to be standing in front of that award-winning truck.

CP: My name is Christopher Polvoorde. I’m 21 years old. I grew up in Southern California racing in short-course off-road. Racing in a stadium in these miniature carts—they’re called trophy carts—was tons of fun. I did that for years. I still continue to race short course, and now I’ve worked my way into the desert and spent a lot of time down in Baja racing SCORE.

SN: We heard that your trophy case got new hardware. Tell us about that day a little bit and the emotions associated with it. What do you remember?

CP: We just wrapped up the Toyo Tires Desert Challenge in my T2 truck. It was pretty much a perfect day. It was amazing. We went out there, qualified first, and then ran up front all day and ended up winning the thing and then also finishing second overall, right behind some Trophy Trucks. I have 500 hp, and they have 1,000 hp, so it’s really getting up there with the big dogs. I was passing some of my heroes. It was a pretty cool thing. It still doesn’t seem real.

SN: After you stepped off the stage with your trophy, any special moments with family and friends?

CP: Just the post-race, being able to spend it with my family. And my crew chief—he’s family now, too! He was out in a remote pit, so he didn’t get to celebrate with the team and everything. By the time he got here, everything had died down. Everyone went home and he came up and gave me a big hug; he was teared up. It was just one of those moments that I’ll never forget. We put a lot of time into this and a lot of long hours and, you know, to make it all pay off. I’ll never forget that hug.

SN: Your T2 Ford Raptor would be a great daily driver, though maybe not in Southern California. What is your daily driver?

CP: I drive an F-150 PowerBoost. Pretty standard, bought right off the lot. It’s a fun little truck and gets great gas mileage, so
I love it—because I do a lot of miles.

SN: Has there been a moment as you started your professional racing career that you wish you could relive?

CP: The first time I won a professional championship in Crandon, Wisconsin. I was on an eight-win streak, and I kind of forgot that entire day because it was all like just a blur. It’s definitely one of those moments that I’d really love to relive.

SN: What’s next on the bucket list?

CP: My next big thing—I’d like to win a Baja 1000. That’s a really big thing that I’ve always dreamed of. Also, to get up into a Trophy Truck, that’s definitely next on the list, too. And just go win more races and see where it takes me. I just love driving race cars.

SN: Is there any particular development in technology right now that is literally a game changer?

CP: The new suspension these trucks run. Some of them are fully electronic, and the capabilities of these new Fox shocks is just mind blowing—the live valve. I’ve got to play with it a little, and I think it’s going to absolutely change the game, because you can adjust and tune the suspension on the fly, and you really never would have even dreamed of being able to do that. In the past, you started with a car and that’s what you got, and you hoped it worked. Now you have the ability to tune on the fly, and there’s an artificial intelligence computer doing it for you.

KOH

Follow Christopher Polvoorde on social media @Christopher Polvoorde.

SN: What’s a perfect day at work for you?

CP: On a perfect day for me at work, I wake up in the morning down in Baja and drive a race car for 10 to 12 hours. It’s just a feeling that you can’t even—it’s hard to grasp. It’s one of those things you just dream about and chase after, and being down in Baja and that vibe, that’s truly a perfect day. Then we go get some fish tacos on the beach to wrap it up.

SN: Who do you want to thank for helping you have such an amazing week at the 2022 King of the Hammers?

CP: I’m extremely lucky to be out here racing. It takes an army, and I’m extremely fortunate to have Optima Batteries and Ford Performance—all these guys allow me to come out here and chase my dream. It’s really been a lot of fun, and there’s a lot that goes into this truck behind the scenes and all the companies that support me and allow me to live my dream.

SN: How can people follow you online?

CP: Just follow me on all my social media. It’s all @Christopher Polvoorde—YouTube, Facebook, Instagram—we do it all. I do weekly vlogs, and we have a lot of fun. Watch the vlogs if you want to see the behind-the-scenes of what goes into racing a Trophy Truck when you’re 21 years old. It’s a little chaotic and fun.

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