Juanita ‘Lightnin’ Epton Celebrates 99th Birthday

On Monday, the ticket office staff of Daytona International Speedway joined Juanita “Lightnin” Epton in celebrating her 99th birthday. Epton has been a part of the speedway’s ticket office operations since 1958 when the “World Center of Racing” was being built.

The ticket office had a barbeque and birthday cake at the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building.

“I love my job,” Epton said. “I love the people I work for. It’s such a nice harmonious place to work in. There’s always something to do to progress this city and this race track and that’s my life.

“I’m waiting for that 100th. I’m not stopping. There’s a step or two ahead of me. I’m going to make it and I’m going to be right here (in 2020) for that 100th birthday; good Lord willing.”

Epton resides in nearby Ormond Beach. Having always believed her place was in the ticket office, she had never seen a DAYTONA 500 in person until 2018 when she watched a portion of the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 from a suite.

Epton’s late husband Joe was NASCAR’s first chief scorer. The couple first met Bill France at the fairgrounds in Spartanburg, South Carolina where Joe was scoring races. When “Big Bill” began building Daytona International Speedway in 1958, the young couple moved down to Florida and “Lightnin” started working in the ticket office alongside Anne B. France, Bill France’s wife.

Tickets for the 2020 DAYTONA 500 and all Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest speedway news.