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Later Nathan's Start Time Could Mean Heat

NEW YORK, (UPI) — The head of Major League Eating said pushing back the start time of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York could affect the results.

George Shea, president of the league, said pushing the start time back from noon to 3 p.m. July 4 — a decision made by ESPN to accommodate its Wimbledon coverage — could result in the competitors facing higher temperatures that “should make it much more difficult” to break Joey Chestnut’s 2009 world record of 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, the New York Post reported Friday.

“Heat causes the buns to crisp up more and the dogs to expand, making a run at the record nearly impossible,” said professional eater Jason “Crazy Legs” Conti.

Chestnut will be seeking his sixth Mustard Belt this year, which would tie him with Japanese eating superstar Takeru Kobayashi, who was banned from last year’s contest due to a contract dispute and arrested when he rushed the stage during the event.

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