2006 Hot Dog Eating Contest

KOBY WINS!
Koby (53.75) fights off challenge from Chestnut (52)

Takeru Kobayashi of Japan ended the 2006 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog contest as champion once again, setting a new world record of 53 and 3/4 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes.But not with a major challenge from rookie Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA, who set a new American record of 52 Hot Dogs and buns in 12 minutes.

Chestnut led Kobayashi for the first half of the contest, establishing a two hot dog lead before falling behind the five-time winner from Nagoya. By the 10 minute mark, Chestnut was a dog and half behind and could not mount the comeback necessary to win.

Never before, however, has an American performed so well against Kobayashi and never before has an American been so galvanized by a sports hero. The crowd of more than 30,000 cheered Chestnut on throughout the contest, but especially in the final minutes chanting "Joey", "Joey".

Sonya Thomas placed third with 37 hot dogs and buns.

"The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has become a highlight of America's greatest patriotic holiday," said Waynbe Norbitz, President and COO of Nathan's Famous. "It epitomizes the spirit associated with summer each year."

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Joey Chestnut 68 HD&B

Sonya Thomas 45 HD&B