A week away from Martinsville Speedway and its famous Jesse Jones wieners, crew members known to eat 40 to 50 hot dogs in a weekend at NASCAR’s oldest track have a new target.
Nathan's Famous announced Thursday that qualifying rounds for its Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest will expand to three NASCAR events:
• May 24: Charlotte's Speed Street celebration
• June 7: Pocono Raceway
• June 22: Sonoma Raceway
The top male and female finishers at each event will compete in the finals on ESPN at the original Nathan's Famous on Brooklyn's Coney Island. The Independence Day tradition began in 1916. Last year, Joey Chestnut of San Jose, Calif., ate a world record 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Eaters interested in challenging Chestnut need to be over 18 and can register at www.nathansfamous.com.
Smithfield Foods, Inc., which owns Nathan's Famous, Inc., expanded its sponsorship of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, driven by Aric Almirola, to 29 races for each of the next three seasons.
The 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth stopped by Pink’s Hot Dogs in Los Angeles with Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker as part of a weeklong tour, celebrating his win in the Great American Race.