• Fagothethird Franklin

Juanita ‘Lightnin’ Epton: The Ageless Woman

Daytona Beach, FL- The ageless Juanita Epton just turned 100 years old last week and she has been a big part of the Daytona International Speedway family since 1958.

Since 1958, Juanita has been the ticket operator for Daytona International Speedway and she has been a big part of how successful the organization has been. She has shown dedication, kindness, as well as shown heart during trying times. On her birthday, the organization threw her a small party and parade to show her, that they appreciated her and her devotion to Daytona.

“I am absolutely overwhelmed,” said Epton, who actually sold tickets part-time to NASCAR events on the Daytona “beach/road course” in the mid-1940s through 1958, prior to the first Daytona 500 in 1959. “It’s just wonderful. I never saw so many friends at one time. It’s great. So nice of people to take time out to say happy birthday. I really appreciate it more than you know. The fact that so many people took time out of their day and came to wish me a happy birthday means a lot. It brings tears to my eyes that so many people care.

“I am looking forward to getting back to the office, counting, and mailing tickets. I cannot wait. I really appreciate it today, but I am ready to get back to work.”

Since the pandemic, a lot of jobs have been cut, as well as fans prohibited to be in the stadium. It has been a weird time for everyone, but right now, everyone is doing the best that they can. “I have no intention of retiring,“ said Epton, who says her nickname ‘Lightnin” was given to her by Joe, who said when they first got married, he never knew when and where she’d strike. “When people retire, they get stale, and I am not getting stale. I am going to work as long as I can. I love the people I work for, and it’s a nice place to work. Until they tell me otherwise, I am going to stay.”

Frontstretch seating and infield camping options are available for the Sunday, Aug. 16, NASCAR Cup Series (3:00 p.m. ET) and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (12 Noon ET) races on the famous 3.56-mile, 12-turn DAYTONA Road Course, as well as the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Cup Series event, which takes place under the lights on the 2.5-mile tri-oval on Saturday, Aug. 29. Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, call 1-800-PIT-SHOP, or click here for more information.

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