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Now Battling for Outlaws Wins, Grice Remembers Victorious Run in Kids Bike Races
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6/12/2024

6/12/2024

Five Flags Speedway


Now Battling for Outlaws Wins, Grice Remembers Victorious Run in Kids Bike Races

Now Battling for Outlaws Wins, Grice Remembers Victorious Run in Kids Bike Races

By Chuck Corder
5flagsspeedway.com reporter

Scooter Grice fainted after his first career win at Five Flags Speedway.
He was about 10 at the time. Grice took his bicycle to Victory Lane that night during the annual Kids Bike Races and was so exhausted from pumping and pedaling his BMX around the famed half-mile asphalt oval that his little body sputtered on him soon after the race was over.
“When they came to interview me (as the winner), I fell over backwards,” he admitted.
Now 48, Grice hopes only a little bit of history repeats itself Friday night at Five Flags. The Gonzalez driver, and lifetime Pensacola-area resident, hopes to return to Victory Lane in his Outlaws car as the Faith Chapel Outlaws will battle for 50 laps.

The Outlaws, The Dock on Pensacola Beach Sportsmen Spectacular (30), Lloyd’s Glass Pure Stocks (20) and Story & Bleich Roofing Crown Stocks (20) will all share the stage Friday with the youngsters and those two-wheeled machines.

Lincoln Electric Kids Night at Pensacola’s high banks will feature three bicycle classes—ages 10-12 (race 1 lap), 6-9 (1 lap) and 5-and-under (length of front straightaway)—with special prizes for the winner. Every child gets a trophy courtesy of Cook’s Paint & Body, ice cream thanks to The Dock on Pensacola Beach and a Kona Ice shaved treat. Kids must compete while wearing a helmet.

The grandstands open at 5 p.m. Friday. Racing begins at approximately 8. Admission is $10 for adults, military and students and free for children ages 12-and-under.

Grice fondly remembers growing up in Beulah, just a 10-minute drive from Five Flags. He’d be at the races “pretty much every Friday night, as long as I had good progress reports from school.”
“Those bike races are how to get the kids involved,” Scooter Grice continued. “Kids couldn’t go in the pits back then, so that was our opportunity to go out on the track and be like the big boys.
“My mother would drop me off with enough money to get in the gate and eat. I had to make sure I held $1 back by the end of night so I could get four quarters and call her on the pay phone outside Tom Dawson’s office.”
Grice is a third-generation driver who has passed his passion onto his adult sons, Thumper, Anthony and Gavin. Thumper Grice, 31, competed in local divisions about a decade ago and Scooter Grice is currently working on a building an Outlaws car for Gavin Grice, who’s 20.
After 14 years away from racing—watching his kids grow up and Gavin play football for UWF—Grice returned with an Outlaws car in May thanks to a serendipitous find on the Internet. Fellow racer Kody Brusso posted a picture on Facebook, and Grice called his wife of 22 years.
“If you were a car, this would be you. Look at how sexy it is!” Scooter Grice said.

“Why don’t you just buy it?” Shelby Grice asked.
“Baby, I don’t have the money,” Scooter Grice responded.
“Make an offer,” she retorted.
Grice told the seller of his financial bind, and a purchase was going to force him to sleep in his truck. The seller had mercy, slashed the price and Grice was able to buy it.
“Every now and then, God makes things work out,” he said. “This is just another instance in my life. There’s no other explanation. I don’t know where the money came from. It just happened.
“Sometimes, God has got to hit you over the head. ‘I’m giving this to you, dummy.’ It has brought my family together.”

Shelby Grice helped install the roof and the boys all help their dad turn wrenches throughout the week. On race night, the Grice men assist with whatever crew chief Josh Goodwin and Mike Garvey need.
Garvey, the legendary short-track mind, helped dial Grice’s setup for his first race back last month. Grice finished second on the track, but his runner-up finish was unfortunately tossed out when technical inspection disqualified him for a lack of seals on the motor.
“I don’t blame ’em,” Grice said of track officials. “They have to make sure everything is on the up-and-up. I never dreamed I’d run that well. Garvey just nailed it.”
He’ll make sure his engine has those required seals this Friday. Grice wants to ensure nothing gets in the way of his quest back to Victory Lane.
This time, though, he promises to not pass out.

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