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Jessi Combs

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Jessi Combs
Jessi Combs at SEMA Show in 2012
Born
Jessica Michelle Combs

(1980-07-27)July 27, 1980

Rockerville, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedAugust 27, 2019(2019-08-27) (aged 39)

Alvord Desert, Oregon, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
Occupation
  • Racer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Television Personality
Jessi Combs
Jessi Combs at SEMA Show 2012 (8158037371) (cropped).jpg

Jessi Combs at SEMA Show in 2012
Born
Jessica Michelle Combs

(1980-07-27)July 27, 1980

Rockerville, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedAugust 27, 2019(2019-08-27) (aged 39)

Alvord Desert, Oregon, U.S.
NationalityAmericanOccupation
  • Racer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Television Personality

Jessi Combs images







Jessi Combs Known For

  • Racer
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Television Personality

Jessica M. Combs (July 27, 1980 – August 27, 2019) was an American professional racer, television personality, and metal fabricator. She set a women’s land speed class record (four wheels) in 2013 and broke her own record in 2016. She was known as “the fastest woman on four wheels.”

She co-hosted the Spike TV show Xtreme 4×4 for more than 90 episodes from 2005 to 2009. Other television shows she appeared on included Overhaulin’, Mythbusters, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, All Girls Garage, and Science Channel’s How to Build… Everything in 2016.

Combs died after crashing a jet-powered high-speed race car in southeastern Oregon while attempting to better her four-wheel land speed record.

Jessi Combs Early life and education

Combs was born in Rockerville, South Dakota, on July 27, 1980, the daughter of Jamie Combs and Nina Darrington. The family moved to Piedmont, South Dakota, when she was two years old. She had three siblings, Kelly Combs, Austin Darrington, Danielle Theis, and two stepsiblings, Rebekah Hall and Arielle Hall. Combs’ great-grandmother was Nina DeBow, a jazz pianist who raced Stanley Steamers.

She graduated from Stevens High School in 1998. Combs graduated from WyoTech in 2004, where she attended the Collision & Refinishing Core Program, the Street Rod Fabrication and Custom Fabrication, and High Performance Powertrain programs. Following her graduation, Combs’s first professional job came after the WyoTech marketing department hired her and another student to build a car from the ground up in six months to debut at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association’s (SEMA) show.

Jessi Combs Racing

As a professional driver, Combs raced in a range of events and enjoyed many successes.

  • 2017 – Ultra 4 King of the Hammers – 12th – 4400 Class
  • 2016 – Ultra 4 King of the Hammers – 1st – EMC Modified Class
  • 2015 – Rallye Aicha des Gazelles (off-road rally race) – 1st – First Participation – 10th overall
  • 2015 – SCORE Baja 1000 – 2nd – Class 7
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 King of the Hammers – 1st – Spec Class
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 National Championship – 1st – Spec Class
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 Western Region Series – 1st – Spec Class
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 American Rock Sports Challenge – 3rd – Spec Class
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 Glen Helen Grand Prix – 2nd – Spec Class
  • 2014 – Ultra 4 Stampede – 1st – Legends Class
  • 2013 – Set women’s land speed record – 398 mph with a top speed of 440 mph
  • 2011 – SCORE Baja 1000 – 2nd – Class 10

On October 9, 2013, Combs drove the North American Eagle (NaE) Supersonic Speed Challenger at the Alvord desert, claiming the women’s 4-wheel land speed record with an official run of 398.954 mph (632 km/h) and a top speed of 440.709 mph (709 km/h). In doing so, she broke the 48-year-old women’s land speed record, a 308.506 mph (496.492 km/h) run average set by Lee Breedlove in Spirit of America – Sonic 1 in 1965. On September 7, 2016, Combs set a new top speed of 477.59 mph (768.61 km/h) driving the Other American Eagle.

Combs was also a 2014 Ultra 4 Spec Class National Champion with Falken Tire. In 2016, she took first place in King of the Hammers with the Savvy Off Road team in the EMC Modified Class and a 2017 12th-place finish in the Unlimited Class driving the same Stock Mod car.

Jessi Combs Television

Combs hosted the television show Xtreme 4×4, a part of the Powerblock, for four years. Following an on-set accident, Combs announced in February 2008 that she would leave the show.

In 2009, Combs appeared in twelve episodes of the seventh season of MythBusters while Kari Byron was on maternity leave.

Starting in 2011, Combs hosted the Autoblog series, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, alongside co-host Patrick McIntyre.

From 2011 to 2014, Combs served as one of the hosts of All Girls Garage on Velocity (now Motor Trend network). The basis of the show was women repairing and upgrading new and classic automobiles.

In 2012, Combs became a co-host with Chris Jacobs for the sixth season of Overhaulin’s re-launch on the Velocity and Discovery channels.

In 2018, Combs appeared on the Discovery channel panel show Break Room.

Also in 2018, Combs appeared on an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage as Jay Leno’s guest driver of a Bugatti Chiron.

Jessi Combs Death

Combs died on August 27, 2019 after crashing a jet-powered car while attempting to break a land speed record as part of the North American Eagle Project on a dry lake bed in the Alvord Desert, Oregon. The crash was caused by a failure of a front wheel, likely caused by hitting an object in the desert, which caused the front wheel assembly to collapse at speeds approaching 512.71 mph (825.13 km/h). The official cause of death was determined to be “blunt force trauma to the head” occurring prior to the fire that engulfed the race vehicle after the crash.”

Combs’ two runs in opposite directions across Oregon’s Alvord Desert on Aug. 27 averaged 531.89 mph (855.99 km/h), which would break the current women’s land speed record of 512.71 mph (825.13 km/h), set in 1976 by Kitty O’Neil at the same location, and so her fatal land speed record attempt will be sent to Guinness for verification.

Jessi Combs Official website

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