Tempers flared in the second Twin-75 on Saturday afternoon at South Boston Speedway between Philip Morris and Lee Pulliam following a racing incident in the closing laps.
With five laps to go, Peyton Sellers, Lee Pulliam and Phillip Morris were battling for the lead after a late race restart.
Earlier in the race, Morris was involved in another incident and had trouble getting back to the front due to the slick conditions brought forth by the Whelen Modified Tour rubber.
Morris found an opening left by Pulliam and decided to fill it, but Pulliam closed the gap. By the time they made it to Turn 3, Morris spun off Pulliam’s nose.
“When we went back green, we were better than those guys,” Morris said. “Lee opened a hole and then came down. We had very mild contact. When we got up to Turn 3, he just dumped me. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought he had matured more than that. It happens. At least you know what to expect from now on.”
Due to the length of the cleanup, the field was stopped in Turns 1 and 2.
This is where things got wild.
Morris’ crew chief Forrest Reynolds ran to the passenger side of Pulliam’s car to rip out the ignition box; however, Pulliam jumped on the throttle and sent his newfound passenger tumbling down to the race track. The move by Pulliam led to a fight in the pits.
The tweet below shows Reynolds running onto a hot track under redflag conditions and reaching into the Kiker No. 5 driven by Pulliam.
For Morris, he did not believe that the racing deal would have turned into dumping each other.
“To me, we were racing. I didn’t know we were dumping each other,” he said. “I thought that was all over years in the past. Forrest has him beat on chassis. I guess he can dish it out but can’t take it. Our cars are good right now. He is having to swallow a bitter pill right now, but that is what we are here for.
“We are here to race, not crash and kill each other. I don’t know. It shocked me more than it did anybody. I was looking at Peyton and trying to take the lead. I didn’t have any idea that he was going to do that. It’s racing. You put it all out there and do the best you can.”
Pulliam declined to comment. He was sent to the rear following the incident.
Sellers emerged with the win — the first of the year for the reigning track champion.
Track officials immediately ejected Reynolds but no other penalties were announced.
The box office appeal for South Boston Speedway this season was billed as a heavyweight showdown between Sellers, Pulliam and Morris — the owners of 11 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championships.
The showdown after two weeks is a slugfest.
Short Track Scene editor Matt Weaver contributed to this post