Daddy's Little SMG'it
With heavy hearts National Oil and Lube News would like to dedicate this story to the late William (Bill) Grice. Our prayers and condolences go out to everyone who knew Bill, but especially to his daughter Samantha who he was so proud of. It is our hope that Samantha will remember what her dad said about doing all he can to keep her safe, “I am the last pair of hands to touch her before she goes out on the track. I make absolutely sure everything is on right.” We are certain that Bill will still be right there with Samantha, both on the racetrack and in life.
Parents are so important. You may have been a “Momma’s boy,” “Daddy’s girl,” or had a special grandparent or family friend in your life. One thing that I feel pretty safe betting on is that you were not “Daddy’s little SMG’it.” That’s because SMG’it is the nickname for a special young racer, Samantha Grice.
“They started calling me that in preschool. They would say ‘Hey little SMG’it, what’s up?’ SMG are my initials,” Samantha said.
Samantha is a precocious nine-year-old with a big personality and dreams of continuing to build on her success at the Quarter Midget racetracks. Samantha doesn’t chase her goals alone. Her dad, Bill Grice is the manager of Williams Quick Lube in Elkton, Maryland, and her No. 1 fan, supporter and sponsor.
In August of 2011 Samantha suffered her first epileptic seizure. Samantha wasn’t going to let her epilepsy stop her from living life and soon found a sport that not only she could compete in but also dominate. That sport was racing. Bill told us the story of how Samantha started.
“We were going to NASCAR races, and Samantha was trying to get Kevin Harvick’s autograph but she was wearing all Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s attire,” Bill said. “I looked up and Dale Jr. was walking towards us. Dale picked her up off the ground and started telling her all about Quarter Midget races. He said that’s where he started. About a year after that we were at a drivers experience in New Castle, Delaware. The car she was test driving was for sale. One thing lead to another, and I had to buy it. Samantha was seven then and started racing about two months before her eighth birthday.”
A spunky Samantha said that her favorite part about racing is, “Doing the competitions and trying to win.” She then quickly said, “I love beating the boys! It’s also really fun to get to do a sport with my dad.”
Bill’s favorite part about watching his daughter on the track is a little different.
“My favorite is when she takes off her helmet and it’s just one big smile. When I see older kids are shaking her hand — encouraging her and telling her how good of a job she did, I can see her heart out there. She doesn’t quit, and she wants to win.”
And win she does. Samantha is raking in the hardware.
“She has gotten one section place finish and about six second and third place finishes this season,” Bill said.