Joey Chestnut chomped his way to the top of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest again Monday, winning a record-setting 15th victory at the annual Fourth of July competition.
The 37-year-old gobbled down 63 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, a far cry from the record 76 he devoured last year.
The number still eviscerated that of Chestnut’s closest competitor, Geoffrey Esper, by 20 dogs.
Chestnut shocked the competitive eating world on Friday when he showed up to his official weigh-in on crutches. A tendon injury required him to compete Monday in a medical boot.
The dominant victory on Monday marked the first time since 2019 that the competition was held at its usual location, the original Nathan’s at Surf Avenue and Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn.
Last year’s match was a limited-entry, ticketed event at nearby Maimonides baseball stadium, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Monday’s victory for Chestnut marked his 15th at the competition.
Ranked No. 1 in the world of competitive eaters by Major League Eating, the former California resident has won all but one Nathan’s contest since 2006.
Eight-time champ Miki Sudo won the women’s hot dog contest held earlier Sunday.
Longtime fans expressed relief and excitement to be back at the flagship location for this year’s competition..
“It’s been a tradition In my family to come here every 4th of July so here we are,” said Daphne, 26, of Brownsville.
Neighborhood resident Joe Manny, 32, had not expected the event to return as “normal.”
“I would always come to Coney Island every Fourth of July for this competition so being back in person as we emerge from the pandemic feels great because I didn’t think the world would get back to normal,” he said.