Penalties Handed Down For South Boston Incident

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Morris Penalties
Philip Morris, his crew chief and Lee Pulliam have all been penalized as a result of an incident at South Boston Speedway. (Caleb Whisler/STS photo)

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – NASCAR has issued a series of penalties stemming from a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series incident at South Boston Speedway last weekend, including barring Philip Morris’ crew chief from competition for the balance of the season.

Forrest Reynolds, the crew chief for the five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion, has been prohibited from participating in any NASCAR-sanctioned events without a current NASCAR license.

Due to his conduct during last Saturday’s race and for participating in a NASCAR-sanctioned event without a NASCAR license, Reynolds is ineligible to apply for a license until 2020.

Reynolds was sanctioned after coming onto the racing surface during red flag conditions and climbing into Lee Pulliam’s car during the second of two Twin 75s at the Virginia short track. His reaction came after contact between Morris and Pulliam led to Morris crashing out of the race.

During the red flag, Reynolds ran over to Pulliam’s car, threw his radio at Pulliam’s windshield and then leaned into the passenger side of the car.

At that point, Pulliam hit the throttle and accelerated forward, with Reynolds being pitched to the asphalt as a result.

For his role in the incident, Pulliam has been fined $1,500 and suspended from NASCAR competition until April 17. If the fine is not paid, the suspension will continue further.

Notably, South Boston’s season does not resume until April 20, so Pulliam will not lose any track time there as long as he pays the fine before the stated end date of his suspension.

Meanwhile, Morris has been fined $1,000 and suspended from NASCAR competition until his fine has been paid.

Both drivers have also been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.

Pulliam and Morris were both penalized under section 12-1 of the NASCAR rule book, pertaining to actions detrimental to stock-car racing.

Pulliam was also penalized under section 12-6.1, behavioral and member conduct, while Morris was sanctioned under section 9-4, where drivers assume responsibility for the actions of their crew members.

Because Reynolds did not have a NASCAR license, he was not subject to any concrete penalties by the NASCAR rule book.

However, NASCAR has mandated that any attempt by Reynolds to participate in a NASCAR event as a member of Morris’ team will result in further penalties levied against Morris.

In a Tuesday interview with Race22.com, Reynolds apologized for his actions.

“I lost my temper and I should have never gone over the track, but I did,” Reynolds said. “I threw my radio and went over there to pull the ignition wires like I saw Peyton (Sellers) do a couple of years ago. He took off and I rolled down the hill.”

South Boston Speedway officials noted their disappointment in the NASCAR penalty on Wednesday and added that neither driver will be sanctioned by the track for the incident.

“We disagree with the penalty handed down to Lee Pulliam,” said Cathy Rice, general manager of South Boston Speedway. “We are disappointed with the penalty and there will not be a track penalty for Pulliam or Morris.”