Diana Duel…The Driving Range

Fast was just never fast enough for racer/TV personality Jessi Combs, who died August 27th while racing a converted fighter jet across the Alvord Desert in Oregon. She was attempting to surpass her own record set September 7, 2016, when she hit a top speed of 477.59/mph driving the Other American Eagle. That record came just 3 years after she initially claimed  the women’s 4-wheel land speed record driving the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger at Alvord on October 9, 2013. She did so with an official run of 398.954 mph, and a top speed of 440.709 mph. Far outpacing the 308.51 mph mark set in 1965 by Lee Breedlove, who had held the crown for an amazing 48-years.

Just days before the fatal crash, Jessi posted on Instagram that she hoped to break 512mph.

It may seem a little crazy to walk directly into the line of fire… those who are willing, are those who achieve great things. People say I’m crazy. I say thank you,’ she wrote, adding the hashtags #gottabreak512 #aimingfor619

In addition to being the 2014 Ultra 4 Spec Class National Champion with Falken Tire, other successes included winning the 2016 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. She also won the 2015 — Rallye Aicha des Gazelles (9 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; and the 2011 2011 — SCORE Baja 1000 – 2nd – Class 10.

Born July 27, 1980 in Rockerville, South Dakota, Jessica Combs graduated from Wyo-Tech in the Collision & Refinishing Core Program, as well as the Street Rod Fabrication and Custom Fabrication and High Performance Powertrain programs in 2004. Upon graduation, the school gave her her first professional job when the marketing department hired her (and a fellow student) to construct a car from the ground up in 6- months. The car was to debut at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) show in Las Vegas.

In addition to time spent behind the wheel, Combs’ career put her in front of the camera on several television shows, including 12 episodes during the 7th season of MythBusters, and a 4-year stint as the host of Xtreme 4×4, a part of the Powerblock. Before quitting the show following a serious accidents. In October 2011, Combs began recording an AOL Autoblog Show called The List of 1,001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, an award winning automotive based adventure series along side co-host Patrick McIntyre.

New episodes of The List continue to air with Combs’s co-host Patrick McIntyre. That same year she also became the host of the Velosity Channel’s All Girls Garage ( a program about women repairing and upgrading new and classic cars). She remained with the show until 2014. Other appearances included acting as co-host with Chris Jacobs during the sixthh season of Overhaulin’ on the Discovery and Velocity Channels in 2012, and the Discovery Channel panel show Break Room just last year.