BURNS, Ore. (KEVN/KOTA TV) - Road and Track Magazine is reporting that Jessi Combs, a Rapid City native billed as the “fastest woman on four wheels,” died in a crash caused by a wheel failure.
Combs was attempting a land-speed record in Oregon’s Alvord Desert Aug. 27 when one of the vehicle’s front wheels failed, according to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office. Her car was going faster than 550 mph when it possibly hit an object on the desert floor.
Following her death, the Jessi Combs Foundation was established. The mission of the foundation is to “educate, inspire and empower the next generation of female trailblazers and stereotype-breakers.”
In 2013, Combs drove the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger at the Alvord desert to capture the women’s four-wheel land speed record with a run of 398 mph, hitting a top speed of 477.59 mph.
Last year, Combs had also attempted to break her own record. She recorded a 483.227 “shakedown run” at Alvord but mechanical problems with her jet car forced her to abandon the attempt.
The 39-year-old racer was the grand marshal for the 2017 Mayor’s Ride at the Sturgis Rally. Combs is also noted for TV shows such as The List: 1001 Car Things to do Before You Die, All Girls Garage, Overhaulin’ and Mythbusters.