DISL Reflections From the Top Step: Colten Terrell

Hey everyone! For those who may not know me, my name is Colten Terrell. I drive the red, 1JZ-powered S13 and recently finished as Drift Indy’s overall points leader for the first ten volumes of Street League.

Colten at DISL Volume 7

Wait. What? It’s still crazy to me to hear that. All joking aside, to end the first wave of street league and be at the top is something I am very proud of and genuinely grateful for.

I think back to the first time I saw drifting back in like 2010 or something at Street Life Tour. I can remember thinking, “Damn! That’s crazy and these cars are insane,” but also, “I don’t really get it.” 

Years later I found myself with an S13 and was planning on signing up for my first event in 2016. I had never even done a proper burnout or donut before, but my brother was talking me into all this and it seemed like it would be fun. We went to Kil-kare one weekend to watch and see what it was like beforehand just to get into it. Boom, instant nerves. You had all the dudes like the Dayton boys, Cory Misko, all these cool cars and great drivers, and man, it seemed so far out of reach. Like, I don’t know anything about cars or let alone how to drive one like that. But I ended up falling in love with it. 

Colty's S13

Colten's S13 is always one of the cleanest rides at DISL.

Everything I did and thought about in the following years was drifting. How to drive better. How to make the car better. How to progress all around and KEEP HAVING FUN. I started in my little no angle, stock steering wheel s13 with a poopy KA-T and just learned as I went. I literally learned how to work on cars and build things because of this S13 (Big shoutout to Harbor Freight, Rural King, and Camel Crush). 

Style has always played a big role in the things I’ve done. When I used to ride bikes, I immediately noticed everyone had their own style of riding trails and the way they built a bike, or upgrading all the hoops and hardware on my drum kit just to make it my own and stand out. I immediately saw that same kind of thing with drifting. Everyone has their own kind of way of driving. Their own style. Their own flow. Little details on the cars that make it their own. Some of the first big influences for me were your guys like team Animal Style, Tandem of Die and a lot of the Drift Indy guys. Super low, big flaring kits, big shiny wheels. I don’t know why, but it’s just cool as hell seeing a badass driver scraping side skirts off the ground or blowing a kit to pieces doing something crazy. 

Colten's S13 at Media Day 2023

The coolest part is that style doesn’t have to be any certain way. You got the super hot boy to the die hard period correct kinda guy and even all out race cars that cost twice as much my house. it’s all your own and it’s all rad. I think what really makes something “good” is just that level of attention and care that you can actually see and appreciate. 

Fast forward to when the first round of Drift Indy Street League came around in 2020. I was so nervous, but after that first battle that all went away and I ended up taking 2nd place! I almost couldn’t believe it. That really brought out my competitive side quite a bit and I carried that with me for the rest of the ten volumes. 

The DISL Volume 1 podium

Colten took home the silver at DISL Volume 1.

Drift Indy Street League has really ticked all the boxes for me. They’re some of the funnest events. You get so much seat time, and the vibes are so high. Everyone is always pumped up and it’s so fun to be around. There’s tons of different aspects of driving to learn from physically and mentally, and each time I drive I try to take something from it and improve on it. And then the competitive side of it just really makes for being the best event all-around to be a part of. 

From the first volume to where we are now is a completely different story. For starters, the level of driving is just insane. There are so many talented drivers in the field and it just keeps getting better. Not only that, but Drift Indy has continued to level up each event. They really do a good job and make these events what they are. 

There’s so many DISL memories that will stick with me forever, one of them being the battle with Brian Peter. I can’t quite remember which volume it was but I made it all the way to the final 4. It was the battle for 3rd place between us. I’m telling you, at the time this was the most intense shit I’ve ever done in my car. It was WILD. We ended up going one more time, too, and threw it down big time. I didn’t even care about the outcome, we were so pumped up we both got out of our cars on grid afterwards and high fived each other, grinning ear to ear. I had never even met the guy or talked to him before, but now I’ve got those kinds of memories forever. That’s what it’s all about, if you ask me. 

Brian Peter and Colten Terrell

Colten and Brian Peter threw down at DISL Volume 3.

The cherry on top has been most of this taking place right in my backyard at Kil-kare. I’ve been going there since I was a kid watching my uncle drag race. It’s where I first saw drifting, first started drifting, and now it’s my home track.

I absolutely can’t wait for the next chapter of DISL and to take it on the road next year! 

Colten S13 in Corbin

Colten traveled down to Corbin for DISL Volume 10 in 2023.

Preparations for the upcoming season have already started for me at home. No big changes, but more stuff on the maintenance side of things. I like to make note of things during the season that could be fixed or made a little better. Usually just small annoying things that could make life a little easier like cleaning up wiring on the car or organizing the trailer some other way. I just like to stay ahead of things and try to make everything as efficient as possible so I can keep driving as much as I can and having fun with all my friends. 

Thanks for sticking around and listening to me reminisce. I just wanted to share what it was like coming up through the years in drifting and talk about my journey through DISL. I’ve had some of the best times of my life over the last couple years and I’m ready for more! See y’all in 2024!

Colten on the podium
Colten took home the gold at DISL Volume 6.