Ben Rhodes, “This is going to be the weirdest press conference, ever.”
With liquid courage, Ben Rhodes transformed into the real life Ricky Bobby after claiming the 2021 championship.
To write this story, I had to google the correct spelling for words like Manna Jamma, inebriated and shoey. If those words sound out of place, they are, just letting you know you’ve come to the correct content for today.
Watch the full Ben Rhodes press conference video below.
On Friday night, Phoenix Raceway hosted the championship race for the NASCAR Truck Series. Four drivers battled for a championship on the 1-mile track.
Ben Rhodes didn’t win the race. But, that wasn’t the objective. All he needed to do was finish higher than the other three championship contenders. He did and Rhodes claimed the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series championship.
Almost immediately, the Champaign and Bud Light rained from the skies. Additionally, Ben Rhodes visited ‘The Barn’ which is a bar at the Phoenix Raceway.
Only after all that, Ben Rhodes visited the media center for his championship interview. The timeline created the gem of a video below.
Ben Rhodes finds zen with alcohol and the championship win
“I’m more zen now, thank to my good friend Bud [Light},” Ben Rhodes opened what would become an epic press conference.
“Let me say something here. Libations are good, championship is awesome. And, this is going to be the weirdest press conference, ever.”
On driving to the championship
“My crew chief gave me some tires with some lower air pressures. Because I said, ‘Hey, this isn’t going to happen. I can’t win the race the way it is. They’re beating me on the restarts. He pumped me up, it didn’t work out on the second stage. He took me back down.”
“I watched Zane Smith and all these people drive away from me. I’m freaking out on the inside because we had radio issues and I couldn’t talk to them. I was really angry, I was pissed.”
“Now, let me say something. I got the mic so I can say it anyways. Here’s how this went down. I said ‘Zane Smith, this is checkers or wreckers, I’m going to blow the motor trying to catch you,” Rhodes describes with shifting noises.
“I was sideways after every corner. But, toward the end, I started catching them. I had some tire left. I said, ‘Wow, crazy.”
“So, I passed him. Sheldon Creed tried to get all funky with me. I said, ‘It ain’t happening Manna Jamma. Bye-bye.’ I went around the outside in the resin. I thought I could catch the No. 52 but I wasn’t worried about it because I had the championship. I said, ‘You know what? Championship’s cool.’ “
“I was driving to the saturation point. That’s engineer speak now, I didn’t know that. I’m from Kentucky, not everybody has teeth. Wait a minute, that’s not a good representation of Kentucky.” Rhodes corrected himself, “Everybody has teeth in Kentucky, we have fluoride in our water.”
At this moment, Rhodes noticed his wife watching from the back of the room.
“My wife looks really embarrassed. Are you embarrassed? We’re champions!”
Ben Rhodes on his alcohol intake before the press conference
“I went to this place called, ‘The Barn’ tonight. They gave me a ring and stuff. But, I couldn’t keep it. I asked the bartender, ‘Can you make me an Old Fashioned? I’m from Kentucky, I like Bourbon. She didn’t know how to make an Old Fashioned. Unfortunate.”
At the 5 minute mark, a woman rudely walked up to the podium, snatched the Bud Light and replaced it with a water.
“Do I need water? Ok, I’ll drink water. There’s a lot of bubbles in this. Dasani water, Jeff Gluck, has bubbles in it.”
How much did Ben Rhodes have to drink?
“I’m a lightweight, I’m definitely a lightweight. I had a decent amount of Champaign in the Champaign shower, cause I love Champaign. That’s the taste of victory. Circling back, I had four, real fast, at ‘The Barn’. I’m a lightweight, you can make fun of me, it’s ok, I’ll take it.”
“We got a lot more festivities tonight. I’m staying at the Hampton Inn downtown, it’s a free party, everybody can show up.”
“Karaoke, I feel like singing some “Ice Ice Baby”, that’s my go to. Along with some other songs. We might try to find some Karaoke somewhere, if not, we might just take a tv in the lobby, throw something up on it and start singing.”
“Ice Ice Baby” for sure. I sung that at my wedding but I don’t remember it. Here’s what I’ll say, I got a list of songs on my phone for just this thing. It’s ‘inebriated song list’, that’s what it’s titled. Then, I got like 30 songs because I can’t remember them when I’m in the moment.”
“I’m not as popular as some drivers because I’m so bad at the social media,” Rhodes explained.
“I get one there and it’s like, ‘How do you be creative?’ Then, I get sucked into the Instagram and you’re looking at other people’s creativeness.”
“Like, ‘Wow, y’all are so creative.”
“I don’t create anything because I’m just consuming. I’m just a consumer.”
“Then, I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, I probably should post because I haven’t posted on my Facebook in ahwile.’ But, I got a good local crowd behind me. I love the local crowd. It’s a blue collar area, good peoples there.”
“I do fly under the radar but that’s ok. I got championship wings now.”
Have you heard of the Shoey? It was made popular by F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. When Ricciardo reaches the F1 podium, he fills his high used racing shoe with Champaign then drinks it until bottoms are up. He regularly gets the celebrity interviews in on the fun as well.
“My crew chief did a shoey tonight. It was awesome, it was my shoe,” Rhodes added.
“Hey crew chief, I had a lot of Bud Lights without you. You should have been there.”
“He doesn’t want to talk about it because it’s nasty. But, guess what, we’re going to talk about it.”
“So, I am an F1 fan. I think it’s a very entertaining sport. I love all forms to motorsport.”
“We were at the shop, before Martinsville, making stupid bets. I didn’t even have to bet anything in return, so it was a one sided bet, that’s awesome. I said, ‘If we win, you gotta do a shoey with my sweaty race shoe.”
“He didn’t want to do it. He denied it, three times. Finally, I took the shoe off, dumped a bunch of Champaign in it, until it was full, to the high top. All yours. I love that guy. It grossed me out seeing him do it.”
“Best press conference ever,” Rhodes concluded to bring it full circle.