Joey Chestnut Nearly Ties New Nathan's Champion In Half The Time

By Jason Hall

July 4, 2024

Annual 4th Of July Hot Dog Eating Competition Held On Coney Island
Photo: Getty Images North America

Sixteen-time Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner Joey Chestnut ate 57 frankfurters and buns during the Fort Bliss July 4th Celebration, nearly tying the new champion of the annual event he was banned from in half the time.

Patrick Bertoletti, who won the Nathan's contest in Chestnut's absence, ate 58 frankfurters and buns in 10 minutes, while Chestnut, 40, ate 57 in five minutes. The 16-time Nathan's champion was initially announced to be competing against soldiers iin hot dog eating contest at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas, following news of his ban from the Nathan's contest last month.

Nathan's said Chestnut, who won eight consecutive championships prior to the 2024 event, was banned from its annual Fourth of July contest due to his recent endorsement of Impossible Foods' vegan frankfurter.

"I was gutted to learn from the media that after 19 years Im banned from the Nathan's July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest," Chestnut wrote in a thread of posts shared on his X account Tuesday (June 11). "I love competing in that event, I love celebrating America with my fans all over this great country on the 4th and I have been training to defend my title.

"To set the record straight, I do not have a contract with MLE or Nathans and they are looking to change the rules from past years as it relates to other partners I can work with. This is apparently the basis on which I’m being banned, and it doesn’t impact the July 4th event.

"Sadly, this is the decision Nathan's and Major League Eating are making, and it will deprive the great fans of the holiday’s usual joy and entertainment. To my fans, I love you and appreciate you. Rest assured that you’ll see me eat again soon!! STAY HUNGRY!"

Chestnut is also scheduled to complete with his longtime rival, six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, in a winner-take-all hot dog contest streaming live on Netflix on Labor Day (September 2), the streaming service announced on June 12.

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