“Once I’m in a good rhythm I can just dance the hot dogs down,” said 28-year-old Joey “Jaws” Chestnut about his sixth straight victory at the world renown Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island yesterday. Chestnut tied his own record of 68 hot dogs in ten minutes. The audience broke into a “USA! USA!” chant, which may seem a little tacky to those in the know about the former hot dog eating champ and Chestnut’s longtime rival, the Japanese Takeru Kobayashi, who was forced out of the competition over a contract dispute in 2006.
For what it’s worth, Kobayashi did technically beat Chestnut again this year: while the latter was on the boardwalk at Coney Island, Kobayashi was on another side of the borough competing in the inaugural Crif Dog Classic hot dog eating contest at Roberta’s in Bushwick. There, he beat the 11 other contestants by throwing back 68 and a half dogs. JAPAN! JAPAN!