‘Fastest Woman on Four Wheels’ is Dead

Professional race car driver is deceased at age 39.



Jessi Combs drove an American flag decorated car in her attempt to set a new record on August 27 at the Alvord Desert in Oregon.

Jessi Combs, a professional racer, earned the title as the “the fastest woman on four wheels” after achieving 398 miles per hour in 2013. Combs received her Custom Automotive Fabrication degree from WyoTech college in Wyoming in 2004 and quickly started her career off with building a 1964 Mercury Cyclone for Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association (SEMA) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shortly after, she appeared on the television show, “Overhaulin,” which gave her a first glimpse of stardom. She gained further fame by appearing in similar shows such as “Mythbusters” and “All Girls Garage” throughout her career. Not only that, the protective welding gear brand by the name of Lincoln Electric made Combs their spokesperson in 2008, and she kept that title until her passing August 27. 

One of her biggest achievements throughout her career was winning second place in an Ultra4event in 2014. The 24-hour desert competition was harsh with a finishing rate of only 20 percent, but Combs became the first woman in history to do so. Even though she carried such a profound title, many youths are unaware of the female racing world. Four years later, in October 2018, Combs beat her own driving record and reached the speed of 483.227 miles per hour. In the process, she crashed into the bushes, yet survived. 

“I think [students] should care about her because she’s work[ed] so hard,” junior Channin Pluciennik said. “I didn’t even know who she was, so I feel like she just needed more exposure. People need to pay more attention to her and watch her and see what she’s achieved and what she could have achieved.”

Those around called her crazy, but she was passionate about racing. Her fans stuck with her, no matter what the skeptics said.

“I think if I was her fan, I would definitely celebrate her life rather than be disappointed,” junior Emma Sorensen said. “If you’re a real fan, you’d stick by that person, even if it was a failed attempt. What happened was really sad.” 

As an attempt for another personal record, Combs set out to Alvord Desert in Oregon on August 27; however, the professional racer crashed and was pronounced dead. Those involved in her life, and anyone who’s watched her on television, continue to honor both her life and the legacy she’s lived.