Racecar driver Jessi Combs was posthumously awarded the fastest land speed record by a female this week according to Guinness World Records.
Jessi Combs, 39, died last year in an accident on the day of the attempt in the Alvord Desert in southeast Oregon.
According to Guinness, Combs broke the record by clocking a speed of 522.783 mph in a jet-powered car. She’s the first person to break the record in more than 40 years.
In 1976, stunt driver Kitty O’Neil reached 510.710 mph at the same spot and held the previous record.
Terry Madden, Comb’s partner, said in a long Instagram post that he doesn’t know how to feel about the achievement, “as no record could ever be worth her not being here.”
“But it was a goal that she really wanted – and as hard as it is for me to even look at the car without crying. I’m so proud of her,” Madden added. “She woke up that morning to an alarm saying ‘let’s make history’ and we had an absolutely amazing day.”
Madden also added on Instagram that the run was supposed to be her last attempt at the record.
The accident occurred when the front wheel assembly failed as she decelerated at the end of the run, coming apart, Madden said. Combs had done everything right.
Jessi Combs was a legend in the automotive industry. Her resume was full of firsts, including the first woman to place at any Ultra4 event and the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen event.
Combs was dubbed the “fastest woman on four wheels” in 2013 when she set a race record of 398 mph at the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger.