It gives a whole new meaning to the expression "bringing home the bacon." For most of us, bacon is breakfast. For one man, it's currency he uses to travel cross country in The Great American Bacon Barter, a national tour sponsored by Oscar Mayer.
At Mid America Motorplex, drivers usually don't need the entire lane on a drag strip. “No, never been sideways, I swear to God I could race in rain, but oh my gosh, it was very scary,” said Kara Pitzer, a racer from Glenwood, Iowa.
"Kara was a sweetheart, she gave me the lowdown. I kind of took in half the directions, I just got in there and gunned it. She was like slow down, slow down,” said Josh Sankey, a comedian turned national road trip guru through the tour across the states.
Normally, Sankey is challenged with trying to find gas and a place to stay as he makes his way from New York to Los Angeles using 13,000 pounds of bacon. Wednesday in Pacific Junction, Iowa, Sankey sat behind the wheel, learning how to race cars, all part of the bacon bartering.
“I've got plenty of butcher thick cut bacon in this guy right here, that's what I’m just telling people we got this (bacon), lets see how crazy and what we can get,” Sankey said.
That’s the point to the challenge. Last week, Sankey said he bartered bacon for racing tickets. This week, he was driving in them in the seat of a $40,000 Corvette on a track that was closed a year ago due to flooding.
"It's Oscar Mayer, it's a national brand and they are stopping right here in the Heartland to check us out and come to our racetrack, it's unbelievable,” said Jim Howe, operations manager at Mid America Motorplex.
It's unbelievable that bacon buys business, Sankey said. Racing cost 14 bricks of bacon per ride, three rides in all. "We've been kind of upping the ante. I started off sleeping on couches and that's fine. I met some great people and then all of the sudden I'm in a mansion two nights ago. I got into a suite here in Omaha last night, through bacon barter."
The Great American Bacon Barter left Pacific Junction Wednesday headed for Denver. The trip comes to a close Sunday when they'll hopefully arrive in Los Angeles.