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Throwback Thursday: Local hero Joey Chestnut wins the Mustard Belt

Jul 4, 2013, 9:00 AM PDT


On this day in 2007, San Jose native Joey “Jaws” Chestnut did the unthinkable, gorging 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes to defeat six-time Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Takeru Kobayashi in Coney Island, New York.

The moment was captured by the New York Times.

Chants of “U.S.A.” and “Joey! Joey!” rose from the crowd when Mr. Chestnut hoisted the Mustard Yellow International Belt of the champion. “The Fourth of July brought this out,” he said, when asked where he found the strength to consume more hot dogs than a large family at a holiday picnic. It was his first victory in the 92nd annual event. Mr. Kobayashi bowed and was humble in defeat. But he also pointed straight at Mr. Chestnut and yelled, “I will definitely beat him next year.”

Kobayashi hasn’t won the event since that historic moment when Chestnut brought the title back to America on Independence Day. Chestnut, 29, has retained the Mustard Belt ever since by posting the following totals:

2007: 66 Hotdogs and buns

2008: 64 Hotdogs and buns

2009: 68 Hotdogs and buns

2010: 54 Hotdogs and buns

2011: 62 Hotdogs and buns

2012: 68 Hotdogs and buns

2013: 69 Hotdogs and buns

Sadly, another clash of the competitive eating titans is not in store. Kobayashi is banned from the annual hot dog eating contest because he refused to sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating. The Japanese competitive eater remains stuck on six wins.

Chestnut won his record-setting (and gut-busting) seventh-straight Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Thursday. He downed a record 69 hotdogs and buns.

Chestnut’s Records via MLE’s website:

• Asparagus: 9 pounds 5.2 ounces of deep fried asparagus spears (10 minutes)

• Chicken Wings: 7.61 pounds Buffalo Chicken Wings (12 minutes)

• Chicken Wings, Long form: 182 chicken wings (30 minutes)

• Chili: 2 gallons of Ben’s Chili Bowl Beef Chili (6 minutes)

• Corned Beef Sandwiches: 20 8 ounce sandwiches

• Funnel Cake: 5.9 pounds (10 minutes)

• Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: 47 (10 minutes)

• Gyros: 22.25 8-ounce Gyros (10 Minutes)

• Hamburgers: 103 Krystal Burgers (8 minutes)

• Horseshoe Sandwiches: 6 pounds, 5 ounces (12 minutes)

• Hot Dogs: 69 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns (10 minutes)

• Ice Cream, Short form: 1.81 Gallons of vanilla ice cream (6 minutes)

• Jalapeño Poppers: 118 (10 minutes)

• Philly Cheese Steaks: 23, 6-inch sandwiches (10 minutes)

• Pork Ribs: 9.8 pounds of pork rib meat (12 minutes)

• Pork, Pulled: 9 pounds, 6 ounces – smoked (10 Minutes)

• Pork, Pulled Sandwiches: 45 sandwiches (10 minutes)

• Tacos: 53 Taco Bell soft beef tacos (10 minutes)

• Tamales: 102 barbecue beef tamales (12 Minutes)

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