DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — On the track at Daytona, there’s thunder. And in the ticket office, there’s Lightnin.
Juanita Epton goes by the nickname of lightnin, thanks to her late husband.
“He said he never knew when or where I’d strike,” she said.
Lightnin has been working at the ticket office since the speedway opened up back in 1959. And before that, she sold tickets with Betty France when they raced on the beach.
She’ll be 102 in July, and she’s still working hard five days a week.
“It never gets dull,” she said. “Right now, I’m working on tickets from Phoenix and California.”
And while many people in line were at Daytona to purchase race tickets, some were waiting to visit with Lightnin.
An amazing part of Lightnin’s story is she worked at the speedway for 60 years before ever seeing one lap of the Daytona 500 in person.
But in 2018, the track president invited her into a suite to watch the action.
“I said I can’t take it. My business is downstairs. I love the racing, and I watch it on TV. But when I’m here, my place is here”
That is dedication, and she’s so incredibly appreciated.
On her 100th birthday, drivers and fans did a drive-by celebration at Lightnin’s house.