DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Here’s a heartwarming story to start your day! Daytona International Speedway’s longest-tenured employee received a namesake honor at the track before the race weekend began. The main ticket center will now be called the Lightnin’ Epton Ticket Office.
Juanita ‘Lightnin’’ Epton has sold tickets for Daytona stock car racing since the mid 1940’s. She started out working for the Daytona Beach Course, a racetrack which once had cars flying down A1A for half the track, and along the Daytona Beach sand for the other.
Epton transitioned to Daytona International Speedway in 1958 when it was built by Bill France Sr, the founder of NASCAR. She said France told her she could work at the ticket office as long as she wanted, and 80 years after starting, she’s still taking him up on it.
Epton celebrated her 102nd birthday in July, and still works the ticket office every year for the races. Even though the first Daytona 500 ran in 1959, she never watched one in person until 2018, when she took it in from one of the track’s suites.
Track President Frank Kelleher invited members of local media to take in the ticket office dedication. Epton herself attended too of course, standing proudly at the office she’s worked at since its inception.
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