Jobs of NASCAR: Meet Spanky, the chef who cooks 150 pounds of bacon per weekend to feed his team
Jason Eidson, who goes by Spanky after the Little Rascals character who he describes as "the little short fat guy with fat cheeks," is a chef.
Instead of wearing a white chef's coat and working in a kitchen at a restaurant, however, he sports a blue NASCAR team jersey and cooks outside surrounded by revving race cars.
Spanky is the chef for the No. 43 and No. 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams owned by Richard Petty Motorsports. He often cooks for up to 150 people and said this causes him to make a lot of food on the grill.
After 21 years with NASCAR, four in his current position, Spanky said that he has learned not to let the loud noises and chaotic activity in his "kitchen" distract him and that the most important thing is making the team's general manager happy.
"As long as he's happy, everyone else is happy and falls in line," said Spanky.
The race car team members are not the only people benefiting from his cooking, though. The self- and grandmother-taught chef also cooks every night for his wife at home and for his church.
He said he feels fortunate not only to be passionate about his work but also to have the opportunity to travel to different NASCAR tracks and spend time with racing legends.
"A lot of people say I'm the luckiest person back at home," said Spanky, "and I say 'yea, I'm lucky and I'm blessed to have a job like this.'"