NEW YORK – American Joey Chestnut broke the world hot-dog eating record Wednesday at the annual Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest, downing 66 franks to beat six-time defending champ Takeru Kobayashi.
"I made my body work for me," Chestnut said after his win was announced.
Kobayashi finished second with 63 dogs eaten, though he seemed to spew up some dogs as the 12-minute contest came to a close at New York's Coney Island.
"If I needed to eat another one right now, I could," the 23-year-old Californian said after receiving the mustard yellow belt emblematic of hot dog eating supremacy.
Kobayashi, the Japanese eating machine, recently had a wisdom tooth extracted and received chiropractic treatment due to a sore jaw. But the winner of every Nathan's hot dog competition from 2001 to 2006 showed no ill effects as he stayed with Chestnut frank-for-frank until the very end of the 12-minute competition.
Kobayashi finished with 63 HDBs — hot dogs and buns eaten — in his best performance ever. His previous high in the annual competition was 53 1/2. The all-time record before Wednesday's remarkable contest was Chestnut's 59 1/2, set just last month.
The two gustatory gladiators quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the 17 competitors, processing more beef than a slaughterhouse within the first few minutes. The two had each downed 60 hot dogs with 60 seconds to go when Chestnut — the veins on his forehead extended — put away the final franks to end Kobayashi's reign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.