Up and Comer: A Sit Down with Troy Manners [INTERVIEW]

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 In Formula D Pro Am Grassroots Mike Pollard

Back in 2012 this young guy by the name of “Squirt” showed up to Cleveland Lake County Speedway for MDU Round 2. No idea who this guy was until I got a text from John Wagner about how one of his dudes at this even was doing. I had an idea the guys over at Clubloose had a say for how this dude was initiating and transitioning on his follow runs with Magic Mike Pollard.

I had a chance to sit on a phone interview with Troy Manners and ask him some basic questions and share with his followers of this upcoming talent out of the East Coast.

Edgar Sarmiento: Hey dude! I know they call you Squirt because you’re like 16 right?
Troy Manners: I am 18 years old dude!

ES: Cool you can buy cigarettes now! Where are you from?
TM: I’m from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of Punxsy Phil. The groundhog that predicts the weather, everyone knows Punxsutawney because of that.

ES: I thought the weatherman predicted the weather.
TM: Hmmmmm no

ES: How long have you been drifting?
TM: I have been into drifting for about three years now. I built my car in 2010 when I was 15. Drove quite a bit in 2011 and started doing more competitions in 2012.

ES: What’s up with that car of yours? What are you running under the hood?
TM: It’s just a car is S13 hatch with a VVTI 1J and R154 transmission. I built the motor last winter with Tomei products. I’m pretty broke so I need to make my motors last. Nothing to crazy going on with my suspension setup but it works well with my driving. Neo Motorsports Coilovers, MA Motorsport knuckles, adjustable arms and sway bars.
ES: That’s super radical dude! Your car sounded sweet this past year on the bank at Kilkare during Street Life Tour.

ES: Why in the hell did you get into drifting?
TM: I got into drifting because my neighbor had an FC and was always working on his car. I went to an event with him in Pittsburgh for the first time and my other buddy let me take a run in his 350z. I also met John Wagner at this event that has really taught me a lot of what I know and has made me the driver I am now. After all of this I bought my car and started driving.

ES: I’ve seen footage of you driving at Clubloose events at E-Town, do you drift anywhere else?
TM: I drift all over in the Midwest and the East Coast, but my favorite track of course would be Englishtown. Next year I would like to go and drive some events down south somewhere. This year I drove some MDU events and a complete season of US Drift finishing the year off in 3rd place earning my Formula D license.

ES: Does this mean you’re going to go “pro” next season?
TM: In 2014 I really just want to have fun competing and attending events and enjoying seat time with my friends. I’m not running Formula D next season. I am for sure going to run US Drift again next season and use what I have learned so far to continue making podium.

ES: That’s awesome dude! What would you say was your most memorable moment in 2013?
TM: My most memorable moment this year was probably my top 8 battle at Hyperfest against Matt Waldin. I was really throwing down and felt like I could have won that event but was super bummed that I lost over a mechanical failure. But that was still the most fun event I drove this year.
ES: Yea, Hyperfest is always wild. Ill for sure see you out there in 2014.

ES: Sorry for keeping you for so long just want to make sure I get a page full of content for the magazine lol. If you could give anyone advice on drifting what would it be?
TM: Don’t waste all of your money on trying to become a pro driver and loose the fun aspect of it. When you take it too seriously you begin to loose the aspect of what drifting should be, FUN! I enjoy competing but to me it’s just as fun as when I drive with the boys at E-Town.

ES: I always like to ask the question to people of what they do while they are not drifting what are some of the things you like to do?
TM: When I’m not drifting I like to ride dirt bikes, go hunting and do pretty much anything outside. I can have fun with pretty much anything with a motor. When the weather is bad I like to play some Forza.

ES: Thank you for your time Troy and see you at events this upcoming year. Any shouts outs?
TM: Thanks to Blasfome for the gear and media coverage, Iconcepts for all my fabrication work and car build, and of course  my dad for helping me on travel. See you soon!


Photo Credit: Dan Jenkins

Edgar Sarmiento

Founder at Drift Indy
I have been running and organizing drift events since late 2005, originally with Drift Indy and then helped developed Midwest Drift Union in late 2009. I work with several groups east of the Mississippi promoting fun fast and safe American drifting.

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