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Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton Obituary and Death: NASCAR and Daytona Fixture Employee Passes Away at 103

Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton Obituary and Death: NASCAR and Daytona Fixture Employee Passes Away at 103

May 17, 2024
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Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton Obituary and Death: NASCAR and Daytona Fixture Employee Passes Away at 103

Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton, a legendary figure in the world of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, passed away on Thursday at the remarkable age of 103. Her name, engraved on the ticket office at the speedway, serves as a testament to her dedication and love for the track, where she worked for an astonishing 60-plus years.

Epton’s journey in NASCAR began in 1947, alongside her husband Joe, who served as the chief of timing and scoring for the sport until 1985. Together, they were an integral part of the NASCAR workforce, with Juanita participating in the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. Over the years, she played a vital role in scoring races, selling tickets, and performing various tasks that contributed to the growth and success of the sport.

NASCAR CEO Jim France paid tribute to Epton, stating, “Lightnin’ Epton and her husband Joe were part of my mom and dad Bill and Anne France’s team from the early days of NASCAR.” France praised her unwavering commitment to the track, saying, “She worked alongside our family from the very first DAYTONA 500 all the way up until this year’s 66th running of the race, bringing a great love for the track to the ticket office each and every day.”

Epton’s remarkable career at the speedway spanned over 60 years, during which she competed in more than 150 points races and drove all seven generations of championship cars. Her tenure at the Daytona International Speedway was the longest of any employee, a testament to her enduring passion for the sport and the track.

In August 2022, a ceremony was held to honor Epton by renaming the ticket office in her name. The occasion marked a celebration of her life and contributions to NASCAR, with Epton humbly expressing her gratitude, saying, “I just don’t know what to say…When I think about how much this location and these individuals mean to me, I find it difficult to adequately articulate how I feel about this honor.”

Throughout her life, Epton was beloved by employees, supporters, and drivers alike, who admired her dedication and enthusiasm for the sport. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of NASCAR enthusiasts, and her name will forever be etched in the history of Daytona International Speedway.

As the NASCAR community mourns the loss of this iconic figure, they also celebrate her remarkable life and the indelible mark she left on the sport. Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton’s passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but her memory will continue to ignite the passion of racing fans everywhere.

Epton’s journey began in the early days of NASCAR, when she and her husband Joe worked alongside Bill and Anne France to build the foundation of the sport. Her tireless efforts and unwavering commitment played a significant role in shaping the NASCAR we know today.

The speedway, where Epton spent most of her life, has undergone significant transformations since its inception. From the early days of racing on the beach to the modern facilities of today, Epton witnessed it all, always remaining a constant presence at the heart of the track.

As the news of her passing spreads, tributes pour in from across the NASCAR community, with fans, drivers, and employees alike sharing stories and memories of this extraordinary woman. Her legacy extends far beyond the confines of the speedway, inspiring generations to come.

In the face of this tremendous loss, the NASCAR family comes together to support Epton’s loved ones and celebrate her remarkable life. Her name, engraved on the ticket office, will continue to shine bright, a reminder of her unwavering dedication and love for the sport she helped build.

As the checkered flag waves for the final time in honor of Juanita “Lightnin'” Epton, her memory will live on, fueling the passion of racing fans everywhere. Her extraordinary life and contributions to NASCAR will never be forgotten, serving as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come.

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