Iest Snaps Long Winless Drought With Irwindale Score


IRWINDALE, Calif. – In just the second race for the new zMAX CARS Tour WestJoey Iest used patient aggression to drive to victory lane Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway.

The caution-filled 100-lap pro late model event took one hour and 16 minutes to complete, but Iest was at his best in the closing stages when it counted most.

The 21-year-old, who qualified fourth, worked his way into the runner-up spot at the three-quarter mark of the race after saving his tires on the high side for most of the first 50 laps. Iest then set his sights on leader Dylan Zampa, making the pass for the win with 19 to go on a late restart.

Though Zampa had a chance to dive deep into turn three on the final lap, he couldn’t get to Iest’s rear bumper, and the Naake-Klauer Motorsports driver hung on to win by .423 of a second.

It was Iest’s first stock car win since July 31, 2021, at Colorado National Speedway with the ARCA Menards Series West, snapping a winless drought of 1,015 days.

“I’m really excited about this one,” said Iest. “We had a really fast car on the long run, and it felt like it just kept getting better and better the whole way. It was nice, clean racing with everyone [up front] and a really fun race overall.

“Even though we got to second right away on the start, I knew how important saving tires was going to be, so that we’d have enough to battle with at the end,” he added. “It was a great battle with Dylan, and it took a perfect restart to get around him; he’s one of the best so to get a win against him means a lot.”

Iest would like to thank HR Mobile Services Inc., Basila Farms of Fresno, Richwood Meat Co., Ag Center 59 of Merced, Panoche Creek Packing, the Ag Solution Network, Seaman Nurseries, Caddyshack Rodent Service, Tree Barber LLC, Central Irrigation Inc., DCB Farming, Race Face Brand Development, and the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation for their partnership and support of his racing endeavors.

The next zMAX CARS Tour West event is scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at Stockton 99 (Calif.) Speedway.

Live streaming coverage of every zMAX CARS Tour West event is available through


About Joey Iest

Joey Iest is a 21-year-old short-track racer and third-generation dairy farmer from Madera, Calif., who currently competes in the zMAX CARS Tour West powered by El Bandito Yankee Tequila for prominent late model and ARCA Menards Series West team Naake-Klauer Motorsports.

Iest began his racing career in 2012 at Good Times, a local quarter midget club which inspired the young Californian’s love of the sport. He raced five years in quarter midgets before making the jump up to HPD Focus Midgets in 2017 with the United States Auto Club, earning rookie-of-the-year honors that season and adding a pavement Focus Midget championship two years later under USAC sanction.

The 2019 season was also Iest’s first full year of late model racing, as he joined the 51FIFTY Jr Late Model Series and the Nut-Up Pro Late Model Series with owner Mike Naake. Then 16 years ols, Iest won the Jr Late Model Series championship in his rookie season, an impressive accomplishment at the time.

Iest went super late model racing in 2020 with the SRL Super Late Model Tour, and also competed in multiple ARCA Menards Series West events. The next year, Iest raced in both the ARCA Menards Series East (with David Gilliland Racing, now TRICON Garage), and West (with Naake-Klauer) divisions.

He returned to ARCA West competition in 2022 and finished fifth in points before taking most of the 2023 season off to focus on adding sponsorship for his racing efforts.

When away from the racetrack, Iest spends his time working on his family-owned and operated dairy farm. He is also a supporter of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation’s efforts in the fight against pediatric cancer.

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