Racing Legend Jessi Combs Dies In Land Speed Record Attempt | Performance Racing Industry
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Racing Legend Jessi Combs Dies In Land Speed Record Attempt
August 28, 2019
The driver, fabricator and TV personality was attempting to break her own record in Oregon's Alvord Desert on Tuesday. She was 39.
Racing Legend Jessi Combs Dies In Land Speed Record Attempt

Driver, fabricator, TV personality and racing legend Jessi Combs was killed in a crash yesterday while attempting to break her own land speed record in Oregon's Alvord Desert. The accident took place about 4 p.m. local time as Combs, 39, was piloting her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger, according to published reports.
 
In 2016, Combs was named the "fastest woman on four wheels" after her team's 52,000-horsepower land speed car traveled over 440 miles per hour. A "shakedown run" by Combs in 2018 clocked in a little over 483 mph, but was cut short by a mechanical failure.
 
Combs regularly competed in off-road racing events and was the first woman to place in Ultra4's King of the Hammers. She also took home a Class 10 podium finish at the Baja 1000 in 2011. As a WyoTech graduate and spokesperson, Combs was trained in fabrication and hot rod building. She also served as a host, builder and technical expert on several automotive shows.

In 2016, Combs served as a panelist on the PRI Trade Show's inaugural "Opportunities for Women in Motorsports" seminar, where she took the stage alongside former IndyCar driver Lyn St. James, Roush Yates' Jennifer LaFever, and Jeanette DesJardins of Car Chix and Crank It Media.

Combs was also a longtime SEMA volunteer as well as co-emcee of SEMA events including the Industry Awards Banquet and SEMA Hall of Fame Installation Banquet & Gala. Just last month she joined motorsports personality Jarod DeAnda to help honor the SEMA Hall of Fame class of 2019 in Anaheim, California.
 
“Jessi Combs was a modern-day motorsports hero in the old-school SEMA mold,” said SEMA President & CEO Chris Kersting. “She was a shining beacon of leadership, creativity, courage and authenticity. Her spirit, accomplishments and volunteerism made a tremendous positive impact—and will continue to be an inspiration for so many.”