"Maximum Homerdrive" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 28, 1999. In the episode, Homer challenges trucker Red Barclay to a meat eating contest, which Barclay is the long-standing champion of. Barclay wins, but quickly dies of "beef poisoning," making it the first time Barclay will miss a shipment. Feeling bad for him, Homer takes on the duty of transporting Barclay's cargo to Atlanta, with his son Bart by his side.
"Maximum Homerdrive" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Swinton O. Scott III. Although the episode's first draft was written by Swartzwelder, the writing staff was split into two groups in order to focus on both the A-story and the B-story. The episode features references to comedian Tony Randall, model Bettie Page and science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, among other things.
In its original broadcast, "Maximum Homerdrive" received a 7.8 Nielsen rating among adults between ages 18 and 49, the highest such rating for the series since "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken". Variety credited the boost in ratings to the premiere of Futurama, which aired after "Maximum Homerdrive". Following the tenth season's home video release, the episode received mixed reviews from critics.
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