July 2023 has been a tough month for SCCA members. Within days of each other, two SCCA members passed away during a ProSolo event in Packwood, WA, and NER lost its own Erin Kelly to a tragic accident at the New England Forest Rally. While her co-driver, TJ Pullen recovers from his own injuries, our region is struggling to accept that Erin’s smiling face will not be seen at any future Rally events.

Erin first came to NER as part of a Racing Against Leukemia TSD Road Rally. She and her cousin, Ashley Follett, placed first in the novice class, at their first event – which properly set the stage for her Rally future. From that point forward, NER gained a wonderful, fun loving individual who always had a big smile across her face.

After that initial TSD, Erin continued with Road Rallys, including John Buffum’s Winter Challenge rally again with Ashley; and tried her hand at RallyCross as well. But she found her real love when the RallySprint program started. For her first sprint, she drove up from Connecticut to help with timing and scoring. But it did not take long before she realized she really wanted to be in the cars co-driving.

Enter TJ Pullen.

TJ was a new driver, with a new build. Together, they formed Pullen Away Rally Team, 909. In 2016, they started participating in the RallySprint series, often finishing on the podium. From there, they moved on to stage rally, where championships were earned.

Erin loved racing, she even tried her hand at driving a rally car a few times. TJ loaned her the car to drive at a winter RallySprint. Rally was her happy place. Being in the rally car, co driving, was where she always wanted to be. And where the Rally community wanted her. National competitors would reach out with requests for her to be their co-driver.

Anyone that met Erin loved her. She was wacky, crazy and full of life.  NER now has a hole that will not be filled any time soon.

As a region, our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Erin’s family, friends and the racing community that knew and loved her.

In Erin’s Name

For those wishing to help the Kelly family, donations to the ARA-supported RACEAID Fund can be made in her name.

To donate, go to raceaid.fund/donate.