NEW YORK – Chowdown champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut broke her own record for a 14th victory at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday while Michelle Lesco won the women’s title.
The chestnut slaughtered 76 francs and brioches in 10 minutes. That’s one more than he did when setting the men’s record last year, when the contest went on without fans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It felt good,” Chestnut, of Westfield, Indiana, said in an interview with ESPN after his win on Sunday. “Even though I was uncomfortable, everyone cheering me on and pushing me, it made me feel good.”
Lesco, of Tucson, Ariz., Shot 30 dogs ¾ in 10 minutes and called his victory “an incredible feeling.”
Defending champion and record holder Miki Sudo has jumped this year because she is expecting a baby in a few weeks with fellow competitive eater Nick Wehry. He competed for the men’s title but failed.
The annual Frankfurt Fourth of July Festival normally takes place outside Nathan’s flagship store in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighborhood. But this year’s planning took place amid changing coronavirus restrictions, and the event took place at a nearby minor-league baseball stadium, Maimonides Park, with 5,000 spectators.
Last year it was held indoors and without an in-person audience due to the pandemic.
Chestnut, of Westfield, Indiana, said he missed the fans last year.
“I’ve been looking forward to this all year,” he told ESPN in an interview ahead of this year’s competition.