Competitive eater Joey Chestnut took home his 10th Mustard Belt after winning his second consecutive Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York's Coney Island, breaking his own record in the storied Independence Day competition.
Chestnut consumed more franks in 10 minutes than most Americans do in a year.
The average American eats 70 hot dogs per year, according to the Hot Dog and Sausage Council. The 33-year-old San Diego native consumed 72 hotdogs in 10 minutes.
With 72, Chestnut, whose nickname is “Jaws,” passed his own mark for most dogs eaten in the contest that he set last year with 70.
And he said he could have done better.
“I slowed down quite a bit, I was sweating like a mad dog,” Chestnut told the New York Post. “I know I can do better. Next year if I come back, you can bet I’ll be pushing harder.”
Carmen “The Mutiny” Cincotti, of Mays Landing, N.J., finished in second place after wolfing down 62 dogs and Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who won the contest in 2015, saw third as he noshed on 48 hot dogs.
Social media erupted with the news that Chestnut stayed the reigning champ.
10X Champion Joey Chestnut, TEN. You'll tell your grandchildren about this. TEN— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) July 4, 2017
My faith in the ability of the American democratic experiment to survive is entirely based on whether Joey Chestnut wins the hot dog contest— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) July 4, 2017
Joey Chestnut final tally: ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 4, 2017
Joey Chestnut is hands down the greatest athlete of American history— Tito (@THirl12) July 3, 2017
Chestnut also has the most victories in the contest, taking home his first title in 2007 after beating former rival Takeru Kobayashi. Since 2007, he has only lost once, falling to Stonie in 2015.
Miki Sudo won on the women’s end of the competition. The Las Vegas resident chomped down on 41 hot dogs for her fourth straight victory.
While there was much jubilation for the winners Tuesday in Coney Island, animal rights activists dressed as Nathan’s supporters crashed the contest.
Protesters from Direct Action Everywhere, which is said to be a grassroots animal rights network, dressed in red shirts, black pants and white straw hats with the Nathan’s logo on it and crashed the event.
Some of the protesters managed to rush the stage and spray ketchup on several of the contestants. One of the protesters also snatched a hot dog from contestant Crazy Legs Conti as he had it in his hand.
The group claims they want to point out the cruel and unsafe practices of large beef and pig farms across the country.
Three protesters were detained by the NYPD.
According to historians, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest began in 1916 when groups of immigrants competed to see who could be more patriotic on Independence Day.
The tradition became a popular and official event in 1972 with the introduction of rules and qualifications.
Since then, tourists and locals alike flock to the original Nathan's Famous location on Coney Island to watch the competitive eaters.
In 2011, the women’s side of the competition was introduced. Since then, only Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas and Miki Sudo have won.
In 2012, Thomas set the women's record after consuming 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes.