Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Qualifier Slated for Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma Raceway has hosted record-breaking wins and historic racing moments, but this June will mark the first-time the raceway has ever hosted a hot dog eating contest.
Nathan's Famous Inc. has unveiled the official list of sites that will host hot dog eating contests to qualify competitive eaters for the annual Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan's Famous on Brooklyn's Coney Island.
For the first time, this 13-stop tour will include three NASCAR events, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 22. The hot dog eating qualifier will take place during pre-event ceremonies at the raceway in front of the main grandstand, just hours before NASCAR's biggest starts take the green flag. Other NASCAR events include the annual Speed Street celebration in Charlotte, NC and Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.
The top male and top female finishers from each qualifier will earn a spot to compete in the ESPN-televised finals at the original Nathan's Famous, a holiday tradition since 1916. San Jose's Joey Chestnut holds the world record for eating 69 Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes in 2013, and he will seek his eighth straight title this year. Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, Va. will defend her title as Female Champion; she consumed 36 ¾ Nathan's Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes last year.
"This will be a terrific, entertaining element to add to the NASCAR party this year," said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. "We are excited to bring this to our fans in Northern California and know it will be a great addition to our weekend."
According to archives, the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY 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 a Nathan's Famous qualifier should visit www.nathansfamous.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 to get an up-close look at the action, visit www.racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE (7223).