Appetizers

New bacon world record: 182 slices in 5 minutes

Major League Eating’s Matt Stonie sets a record for bacon eating — 182 slices in five minutes — on Sunday before the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The event was hosted by Smithfield, which sponsors the No. 43 Ford in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series.
Major League Eating’s Matt Stonie sets a record for bacon eating — 182 slices in five minutes — on Sunday before the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The event was hosted by Smithfield, which sponsors the No. 43 Ford in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. Getty Images for Smithfield

Nobody loves bacon as much as Matt Stonie, and he has the record to prove it. The 22-year-old competitive eater from San Jose put his stomach to the test and came up with another mark — the world record for bacon eating.

On Sunday as a sideshow to NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in Florida, Stonie gobbled 182 slices of bacon in five minutes. That adds up to more than 11 pounds.

Eating only against the clock, Stonie’s exhibition established a first-ever mark in rapid bacon consumption and kicks off the “Smithfield Pig Out Chase.” Fans across NASCAR nation will be able to test their bacon-eating skills at contests held in conjunction with Sprint Cup races. (Details of the full contest schedule — including a possible stop at Sonoma Raceway’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 in June — are to come.) The best amateur eaters will be invited to an eat-off at NASCAR’s season finale in Homestead, Fla., in November.

On NASCAR’s premier circuit, Smithfield is a sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Ford, driven by Aric Almirola. On the midway of Daytona International Speedway before Sunday’s season-opening race, Stonie wowed NASCAR fans as he inhaled slice after slice of crispy fried Smithfield bacon.

“I’m a huge bacon fan, so I jumped at the chance to team up with Smithfield to set the bacon-eating world record,” said Stonie. “As one of the youngest competitive eaters on the circuit, I’m always looking to push myself, so I aimed to eat 150 slices. But when I passed that and got to 182 slices, I knew it must be because I’m fueled by bacon!”

A rising star in Major League Eating, Stonie also holds records for eating the most pumpkin pie (set in Elk Grove), gyros, birthday cake and frozen yogurt.

In addition to bacon eating, the NASCAR fan contests will feature competitive consumption of other pork products such as ribs and barbecued pork. The overall national winner will receive a trip to the 2016 Daytona 500 and a Richard Petty-autographed fire suit. For more about the Smithfield Pig Out Chase, visit Smithfield’s Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/CookingWithSmithfield.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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