Joey Chestnut got off to a STRONG start at Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and never looked back ... securing his fourth straight victory but dude still looked a bit bummed.
The hot dog eating god wolfed down 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes to earn his 12th overall Mustard Belt at Coney Island. But Chestnut looked disappointed ... he said he'd been eyeing 75 hot dogs for the world record. He can hang his head high on this -- absolutely NO ONE was gonna ketchup to him. Darron Breeden ate 50 dogs to finish as the runner-up.
BTW ... Japan's Takeru Kobayashi no longer takes part in the Super Bowl of eating competitions. He and Chestnut were featured in a "30 for 30" special earlier this week ... which prompted legendary sports reporter Peter King to rip the contest. Chestnut took serious issue with that.
Over on the women's side ... Miki Sudo devoured 31 hot dogs to earn her sixth straight win. She easily defeated the runner-up, Michelle Lesco, who gorged 26 hot dogs. Sudo couldn't beat her total from last year ... when she took down 37 hot dogs. The all-time women's record is 45 hot dogs in 10 minutes ... set by Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas.