DISL Volume 8 Preview

After a long off season, we’ve finally made it. Months of waiting, tinkering and refreshing builds, it’s back. Drift Indy’s Street League is back, and, at the risk of using a cliché, better than ever.

Those of you who pay at least a tiny amount of attention may have heard something about our new points and ranking system.Gone are the days of DISL Lite, and that portion of the event has been altered and will now work as Prelims. 

Since its inception, the point of DISL has been to get stylish cars driving competitively against one another. From volume to volume, the staff and community have worked to develop style and skill among all of our drivers and their rides.

Folks new to Drift Indy may not realize the depth of experience of so many members of our community, but it really is something of a gold mine. You don’t have to look too far back in our history to see that we’ve done more than our fair share of pro-am back in the Midwest Drift Union days. That 8-year run of events came to an end in 2017, with a small shootout revival in 2019. The core of our staff has organized events across the midwest and seen the ups and downs of competitive drifting. They know what works and what doesn’t. 

All of that’s just to say that DISL and its organization and rulebook are the culmination of what equates to decades and decades of combined drifting experience both behind the wheel and on the backend, organizational side of things. It’s accessible and pushes what everyone likes to see at the end of the day: super clean cars and super clean driving. 

The crowd of drivers from Volume 4

This was the crowd of drivers from DISL Volume 4.

I’ve had the pleasure of attending and photographing every volume of DISL and it’s been pretty damn rewarding to see the community develop and coalesce around what many of our drivers count among their favorite events of the season.

With Media Day and Opening Day under our belt already, this season’s DISL volumes are shaping up to be the best yet. Drivers came in hot with the car refreshes this year. New liveries, new paint jobs, wheels etc. The pits have reached a new level of steeze, if I do say so myself. 

Looking ahead to this coming weekend and Volume 8, I wanted to take some time to look at some of DISL’s best battles and pontificate a little on what we might get to see.

Sample DISL Bracket

In checking out the DISL rankings and referring back to past volumes, we can get something of an idea of some of the really special battles we might get to see after some deep runs in the bracket. 

It’s tough to discuss DISL without mentioning Colten Terrell. Currently atop the leaderboard with a 39 point lead over Josh Estey in second, Colty’s always gonna be one to watch. Estey would obviously be closer in points had he driven volumes 1 and 6, but even two events down he’s been able to put pressure on the top dog. Just three points behind Estey is, of course, Joey Ritter. 

Joey’s someone who really embodies the spirit of Street League. He started out in Lite in Volume 3, won it and then made a deep, deep run in the main event. Since then he’s been a staple of the event and has gone a long way toward styling up both his car and his driving. Hell, he even knocked out Geoff Donati in Volume 5.

Joey Ritter drifting his 350Z

 Joey Ritter showed off Team Shade's new livery at Media Day and Opening Day.

Joey holds a modest 14-point lead over Coy Pendleton in fourth. Coy missed out on Volumes 1 and 6, too, but absolutely put on show in Volumes 5 and 7.  His runs with Colty from Volume 5 are some of my favorites. Both their cars are so damn clean and the sound of two 1Js battling it out is epic. I, for one, would be far from upset to see a repeat of that matchup come this weekend.

Looking deeper into the rankings past the top four, there’s more than enough talent and solid builds to find a way to the podium. 

I reckon any of the Team Shade drivers have a good chance of causing problems for some of these guys sitting on a ton of points. David Whelen in his Vette snagged the silver in Volume 6 and has been absolutely shredding every time I’ve seen him out since then. Clint Stotts and his little Miata that could have driven every Volume since 4 and had an excellent showing in Volume 7. I imagine both of those Shade boys are feeling good about their odds. 

Dylan Lobbestael has had some tough rolls of the dice in DISL with technical issues cropping up at a few Volumes. Still, he’s one of our smoothest and most consistent drivers. And who knows? Maybe his sick new livery will give him that extra little bump of confidence and luck he needs to find his way to a trophy.

I can’t not mention the Bobby’s Crew dudes too. Estey’s crew is chock-full of rippers and any one of them is capable of taking home some hardware. Ryan Laverse, specifically, had great showings at Volumes 3 and 7. He got caught up a little trying to put too much pressure on Estey in the final four and made a couple small mistakes that kept him off the podium.

Ryan Laverse and Justin Medina drifting together

Ryan Laverse and Justin Medina threw down in the battle for third place at DISL Volume 7. Justin managed to come out on top.

Adding some spice to the sea of 240s, 350s and Bimmers is Justin Medina. I’m excited to see what he can do in his freshly K-swapped Honda S2000 after an impressive performance at Volume 7 that landed him the bronze.

I won’t go far as to try and predict a winner, but I feel justified in saying that it’s gonna be a hell of a good time regardless of who comes out on top. Good friends, good driving and good cars are the name of the game for DISL, and Volume 8 is set to have those three in spades.