King of the Hammers Lady Driver Bio for Jessi Combs
How do you know your Driver? Martin works for Saavy Offroad and is the main person that works on the car. We raced together last year and will again this year. It's a perfect match with him knowing everything about the car.
How many times have you raced King of the Hammers? This will be my 8th year racing King of the Hammers. I was a co-driver for Chris Ridgeway in the 4400 class. I was a co-driver for Ritchie and Kristen Carter for two years in the 4400 class and then one year in the Legends class. I drove in the Spec Class and Won with Patrick McIntyre, my co-host for The List: 1001 Car Things to Do Before You Die as my co-driver. I drove in the spec class again with Theresa Contreras, not finishing. Last year I drove the Savvy Racing 4588 in the Every Man Challenge race and Won with Martin Castro as my co-driver. This year Martin and I will be using the same car modified for Friday's unlimited class race.
How did you get into Ultra4 Racing? I was hosting Xtreme4x4 when King of the Hammers started with the OG13 and became privy to it then. It was a couple years later when I was announcing for Pirate4x4 TV LIVE! and hosted the coverage interviewing drivers. I caught the bug, and now I love racing this event.
I grew up in the hills of South Dakota trail wheeling with well known rock crawlers like Jason Poole and Tracy Jordan. I never raced until King of the Hammers, I had done a couple celebrity events, but nothing competition wise so had to move up the ranks.
What has been your most exciting achievement in Ultra4 racing? Winning. Literally, coming across the finish line and winning. Winning the Ultra4 National Championship was good, but that first year we won with me as driver of record was huge. It was even more exciting because it was a drivers race in the Spec class where everyones cars were the same, I had a co-driver that didn't know much, and we filmed a show making it all a huge accomplishment. We were 68th off the line and finished 4th overall.
What does race prep look like in your world? I'm lucky to be with a team that does all the prep on the car and gives me any opportunity to go out and drive to test and tune. Our team motto is "Winning loves Preparation". We already have about 600 testing and tuning miles for this years race. I always eat healthy and exercise riding my bike a lot, but that is normal to my everyday. My main contribution to the team is bringing the media and production teams together to get media and content from the race. There is also a level of planning for RV's, where is the parking and the typical race prep planning.
What are you looking forward to at this years King of the Hammers? It is really cool what Dave is doing for all the teams giving us the ability to share our experience with people at home through the TV Coverage. This is a race I am truly addicted to and I am excited that people everywhere get to watch the race evolve and infiltrate households. I'm also excited to see more girls racing this year.
What excites you about racing? All of it! I especially love this race. I love that it is so difficult and anything can go wrong. We are racing against the desert, slower drivers, carnage, car failures and more. I love going fast, but it is a different challenge for solid axle race cars with 4x4 where I have to change my driving style throughout the whole race.
What is a piece of advise that you have been given? "Slow and Steady Pace Wins the Race" I don't always remember this because I get racer brain. Part of the challenge is knowing when to slow down.
Tell us about the Team that Supports you. "The Best of the Best" is what we call the Saavy Offroad team. Gerald Lee is the team owner and ring leader who has raced and won in the same car 3 times. Johnny Rocha is the crew chief that holds everything together. Martin Castro is the lead technician, General Manager at Saavy Offroad and my co-driver. He knows everything about the car and can handle anything fast. It's pretty much the four of us and then we have a huge support system that surrounds us.
• Advance Adapters
• Alpha Laser Cutting
• BFGoodrich Tires
• Currie Ent
• Griffin Radiator
• FK Rod Ends
• J.E. Reel Drivelines
• PSC Motorsports
• Raceline Wheels
• RadFlo Suspension
• Savvy Offroad
• Spod, Sparco
• WARN Ind.
• Wilwood Disc Brakes
Jessi Adds: Thank you to the BLM for the opportunity to race on your land. Thank you to all of the Hammerking Productions staff for pushing King of the Hammers forward, and to the volunteers that make race week successful. Thank you to my team for letting me drive and listen to me as a driver giving feedback to make improvements. Of course, my parents for getting me into this sport and everyone that supports and cheers me on.
Official Bio: The fearless Jessi Combs was born for everything automotive. Her passion to get in the driver seat and behind the wheel of nearly anything with a motor has led her through some amazing and unusual achievements. With a degree in custom automotive fabrication, Jessi has reached out to millions with her build skills on TV shows such as All Girls Garage, Mythbusters and Overhaulin’ to name a few, as well as through community and educational outreach. As the fastest woman on four wheels, first ”Queen” of the Hammers, Ultra4 National Champion, and a Baja 1000 podium finisher, she empowers many through the act of simply leading by example. Her desire to show more women (and men alike) that they too can build their ideas, go fast, get dirty, have fun, and still be feminine shines through everything she does in life.
Author: Jessi Combs