Drift Indy Street League is simple. Lower your car, make it one color, slap some tasteful aero and wheels on and link the course.
JB Guillote summed it up pretty well during Saturday’s drivers’ meeting: “Just get through the course and look badass.”
Simple, stylish cars banging doors in tandem has been cool since Keiichi Tsuchiya brought the sport into the spotlight. At Drift Indy, drivers and staff are harnessing that idea to create the coolest drift series around.
After everybody had the chance to turn a ton of practice laps, Street League’s Lite competition got started. Edgar calls Lite his “baby” and in my mind, it’s kind of like developmental teams for soccer clubs. Some new hotshot star might get called up to the big leagues to really make a name for themself.
Perhaps the most notable driver to do so is, of course, Joey Ritter. Joey won DISL Lite Volume 5, got bumped up to the main event and immediately showed why he deserved to be there. Fast forward a few volumes and now he and Team Shade are ripping in some of the cleanest cars and laying down some of the most consistent runs.
Volume 7’s Joey turned out to be Jason Brothers. It seems Jason surprised himself right along with the judges, as evidenced by him not even being by the podium to watch the ceremony where he took home the gold.
Matt Berlin took home the silver and Britt Kaukeinen took home bronze after a tie-breaker battle between them after everyone else finished their runs.
All three drivers were given the opportunity to fill spots in the main event.
Honorable mention to the dude in the E60 with the gender reveal tires. I don’t know if they got you any bonus points, but it was cool to see something a little out of the box.
Shoutout to DK for the “He must be having twins” comment, too.
Every once in a while a battle comes along that makes us media folks out in the infield recreate the “Damn!” meme from Friday. This event absolutely did not disappoint.
Just from looking at the top 32 matchups it was pretty evident this was gonna be a good one. We had a brother matchup between Sam and Isaac Cornewell à la Cain and Abel, the two Dayton Boys with running cars going head to head, Kyle Antonovich and Justin Medina duking it out and Clint Stotts going up against Dylan Lobbestael.
In the round of 16 Vance Kearns and Josh Estey were absolutely putting it on each other. Josh managed to edge Vance out. Jason Brothers managed to “Joey Ritter” Joey Ritter. Lite’s newest hotshot conquering Lite’s classic Cinderella story driver was pretty cool to see, but I think either driver coming out on top would’ve been a win for the progress Street League promotes.
Moving down to the top eight, we saw eventual silver-medalist Coy Pendleton putting an end to Jason’s impressive run. Justin Medina and his S2000 took down former Main Event winner Colten Terrell in a real battle of the titans.
In the semifinals, we saw Bobby’s Crew drivers Josh Estey and Ryan Laverse pitted against one another on one side with Coy and Justin throwing down on the other. Both battles were great to watch, but Josh and Coy managed to edge their opponents out.
In the final battle, Josh just managed to edge Coy out. Shout out to the judges and their eagle eyes. I don’t envy their job at all.
Anyways, the trophy ceremony was wholesome AF. Good vibes all around after some really hard fought battles. We’ve really gotta start getting these guys goggles, though. I know champagne in the eyes has gotta sting.
Street League’s newest feature, in my humble opinion, was cool as hell. Regardless of your opinion on the best way to achieve a cohesive look, whether it be painting all the cars the same color, having similar style cars or just having similar driving styles, driving with your best buds is cool.
From the start of the day it felt like Bobby’s crew was going to be the team to beat. Within their first couple practice laps they were on each other’s doors. I’m sure Bobby, whoever the hell he is, would be proud.
The Terror Kult fam, shredders across the board, took home second. Two podiums in one day for Coy Pendleton speak for themselves. Cool liveries, unique cars and solid driving; what more could you want?
I was really impressed with Team Smooth Brain, too. Watching how hyped Seth St. Meyers got when he tapped Josh Estey’s door was beyond wholesome. I don’t remember what I was doing the summer after I graduated high school, but I know for sure I wasn’t banging doors in a drift car.
Seth’s enthusiasm and the Cornewell brothers’ energy coming off their Main Event battle definitely translated into some exciting driving with the other TSB drivers.
Them taking home third was well-deserved.
Team Shade brought their usual style and consistency, albeit down a couple members and with Clint Stotts whipping his blue G sedan after his miata got a touch too close to a Kil-kare wall throwing a backie.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention team D Walk-In’s cool-ass cars. I think it’s fair to say classically-styled s-chassis always hit some nostalgia buttons in the drift community, so having Nick Dimitri and Allen Vang sliding together was pretty cool to see.
All in all, Street League Volume 7 was one of the coolest drift events I’ve ever been to. When you put an emphasis on clean cars and clean driving, you’re gonna have a good time. Personally, I can’t wait for the next one. Gotta make it through No Star Bash and the rest of the season, first, though.