PAINESVILLE MAN TO COMPETE ON TV SHOW
Drivers to show abilities on History Channel’s ‘Truck Night In America’
It’s been a long bumpy road for Painesville resident Mark Grice to get from rebuilding his truck at home to competing in History Channel’s “Truck Night In America.”
While on Facebook one day in early 2017 he came across a post that started him on his off-road journey.
He saw that the Discovery Channel was doing a casting for “Gas Monkey Garage (Fast and Loud)” and decided to submit an application.
“Aaron Kaufman left the show
and basically I thought I was in the position to fill his position so I put in for that,” Grice said. “The next thing you know I get a phone call saying ‘hey, are you interested in doing a truck show.’ ”
Grice responded to the caller by saying, “well obviously I didn’t get the Aaron Kaufman deal.”
He was told no, but they were interested in him for a new truck show, and he agreed to interview for that.
During the interview, he was asked if he had a truck and Grice told them he had a cool truck, a blue 2004 crew cab dually which he put a lot of working into repairing after he was hit almost head-on about three years ago.
According to Grice, time passed and after a couple of months of not hearing from the show, they called him and asked if he was still interested in doing the truck show. He said he was but was concerned about the filming schedule as he was set to have surgery and would be recovering for a while.
“I had the surgery and I had complications from the surgery and almost died,” Grice said. “But luckily I bounced back from that and got in contact with them again and they started giving me more information about
“It’s like a big kids’ playground. You do a bunch of challenges that you wouldn’t think you would do with a truck or a Jeep. You go out and do it and have fun. That was the main premise that I took away from this.”
— Painesville resident Mark Grice
According to the show’s website, 50 truckers from across the country will compete five per show for 10 episodes in their own personal customized trucks and jeeps completing challenges with drivers demonstrating the speed, strength and their handling abilities on an off-road obstacle course. Top prize is $10,000.
Once Grice found out that it was going to be an off-road show with mud and challenges he decided he wasn’t using the blue truck, he would opt to use another one he had come by.
“I’m like ‘you ain’t getting the good one, you’re getting whatever I make out of this one,’ ” Grice said “They said that was fine, we are going to get truck requirements together and go from there.”
Grice who is originally from Eastlake, moved to Painesville about eight years ago where he works in a collision shop while trying to open his own repair shop with his father John. Grice took the truck he had bought off a friend and fixed up.
“He got the truck from
somewhere in Pennsylvania where I guess it had been sitting in a field in not running for three years so it became a mouse hotel,” he said.
Appropriately the truck was named “Rats Nest.”
According to Grice, the filming for his episode wasn’t scheduled to take place until September, but he got a call saying there had been a change in the schedule and his episode was due to be filmed in August, giving him and his father only three weeks to rebuild his truck.
The truck was actually completed on the day he and his brother Matthew left for Georgia.
Grice said his family and friends didn’t actually think the truck would get done, much less make the trip or be able to compete.
“No one had faith in this truck,” he said. “Everyone knocked that truck.”
Grice had to stop three times during the 800-mile trip to make repairs to the truck as he had no time to road test it before they left.
“We made it down to the filming and we did the show,” he said.
“It’s kind of cool. No one has ever done a show like this and this is why I chose to do something like this,” Grice said “The off-road community, they really like it. It’s a big family group, a
lot tighter than a lot of the other car groups, which is cool.”
Grice describes his experience with the show as a blast.
“It’s like a big kids’ playground,” he said. “You do a bunch of challenges that you wouldn’t think you would do with a truck or a Jeep. You go out and do it and have fun. That was the main premise that I took away from this.”
This is Grice’s first time off-roading a truck — most of his off road experience has been with ATVs — so he saw himself as the underdog in the competition going against people with massive off-roading experience.
“I’m going out as an underdog, but basically if there is a will there is a way so don’t ever count anyone out. It’s just one of them types of stories,” he said. “That’s what I thought mine was, it was one ultimate adventure.”
Grice said he would do it again in a heartbeat and all the work and effort is worth it, and whether he wins the final prize or not, he definitely drives off with bragging rights.
“Truck Night in America” premiered on March 8. Grice competes in the March 15 episode airing at 10 p.m. on the History Channel.
Painesville resident Mark Grice competes with his 1996 Ford-250 diesel on the History Channel’s “Truck Night In America” airing at 10 p.m. March 15 on the History Channel.