Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Qualifier Slated for Sonoma Raceway
For the second consecutive year, world champion Joey Chestnut will be on hand to oversee a regional qualifier for the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway.
This year's battle for hot dog eating supremacy will take place at the raceway on Sunday, June 28, in the Wine Country Winner's Circle at 10 a.m.
"Joey Chestnut and Matthew Stonie—the world's #1- and #2-ranked eaters, respectively—both hail from Northern California," said Major League Eating Emcee Sam Barclay. "No one knows why this region has emerged as the nation's richest pool of eating talent, but at the Sonoma qualifier we hope to unearth America's next great gurgitator."
The top male and female finishers from this event will qualify for a seat at the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island on July 4, where they will face reigning champions Chestnut and Miki Sudo, who also took top honors at Sonoma Raceway last year.
"The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was a highlight of our NASCAR weekend last year, and we're delighted to bring this entertaining element back to our fans in Northern California," said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager.
San Jose's Chestnut holds the current world record for eating 69 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes, and he will seek his ninth straight title in 2015—a world record. Sudo, of Las Vegas will defend her title as female champion, having consumed 34 Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes in 2014.
In recent years, an estimated 35,000 fans have traveled to the corner of Surf and Stillwell avenues in Coney Island to watch the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest in person. The live telecast of the event has consistently attracted millions of viewers since ESPN first aired the contest in 2004.
"The launch of the annual hot dog-eating contest circuit signals the impending arrival of summer," said Wayne Norbitz, president and COO of Nathan's Famous. "As we celebrate our 99th year, Nathan's Famous is proud to be part of the American summer and all the enjoyment that it brings."
According to legend, the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest has occurred each July 4 in Coney Island, N.Y., since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. Major League Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog-Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.
Those interested in competing in the qualifier should visit www.majorleagueeating.com to obtain information and register. All competitors must be over 18 years of age.
For more information about the Toyota/Save Mart 350 or to secure your tickets and pre-race pass, visit www.racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE (7223).