NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut competes in the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Chestnut won the men's division by successfully tying his own world record by eating 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
The winner of the 2012 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is Joey Chesnut, who scarfed down 68 dogs in ten minutes. The annual Fourth of July tradition at Surf & Stillwell has been dominated by Chestnut over the past five years and he once again blew away the field to capture his sixth straight title. He started quickly with just under a 10 hot dog per minute pace before topping out at the 6.8 dogs per minute rate.
Tim Janus finished in a distant second with 52 hot dogs. Pat Bertoletti, who was tabbed as a top challenger for Chestnut, finished with 51 dogs eaten. But no one could keep pace with Chestnut, who pulled away over the final five minutes of the contest.
Sonya Thomas, the favorite on the women's side, blew away her own record of 41 dogs by taking down 45 hot dogs in ten minutes for a new world record. It was the second consecutive women's title for the the "Black Widow." A tape delayed broadcast of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is scheduled to come on the air at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Takeru Kobayashi, the man who brought the Coney Island contest much of its notoriety, did not participate for the third straight year. Kobayashi is a part of a separate hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn, the Crif Dog Classic, where he'll be competing against our own Spencer Hall. The competitive eating legend recently sat down with SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson to discuss his ongoing contractual dispute with the Nathan's Famous July 4th contest: