Meet the Women of Competitive Off-Road Racing

Mar. 04, 2015 By Rachel Bowes
For decades, the sport of off-road driving has been largely considered the endeavor of a man’s man – all sweat, grease, dirt and horsepower. It turns out women are just as into getting dirty, driving fast and being first to the checkered flag as their bearded counterparts, but the representation of women in off-road has been a bit … scantily clad. Contrary to the imagery, these female competitors are living proof that off-roading is a sport where women and men can compete head-to-head, no holds barred.

Corry Weller

Corry Weller (Short-Course)
Corry Weller was a dedicated adrenaline-junkie long before she began her off-road racing career in 2001, competing in motocross. When she made the move into short-course, Weller shattered stereotypes of women in the sport, dominating the track and developing a reputation for driving smooth, smart and fast.

“In my first year of racing I worked on just gaining the other racer’s respect, learning truck control so that they would know that when they got out on the track with me, I’d be safe,” she says.

She went pro in short course off-road racing in 2007 and won the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing championship for the SR1 UTV class in 2011. In 2012, she made history by becoming the first woman ever to compete in the ultra-competitive rough-and-tumble Pro 4 class, earning multiple podiums throughout the season. In 2014, she fought her way to a top-10 overall finish in what is universally considered the most insane race in short-course: the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race.

Corry Weller competing in Arizona at a Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series event.

Weller is a fantastic role model for young women in the off-roading community: both competitors and weekend warriors. She competes against the best of the best, works side-by-side with her crew to build and maintain her race vehicles and inspires all women to leave the stereotypes in the dust.

“Go out there, do your thing,” Weller says. “Learn your truck and the track and don’t worry about trying to impress anyone.”

In the coming season, Weller will be competing in all three Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series in SR1 while the team puts Pro 4 on hold to regroup and come out swinging with a better, stronger program in 2016.

Jessi Combs

Jessi Combs (ULTRA4)
Jessi Combs is a passionate artist, racer and public figure. Her enthusiasm for automobiles, off-roading and high-speed racing developed at a very young age, and as an adult she decided to pursue an automotive career. She earned a degree in Custom Automotive Fabrication from WyoTech, which opened the door to all her achievements, as those skill-sets were the key to her success. 

It wasn’t long after that Combs became a guest fabricator for the television show Overhaulin’ and from there the co-host of Xtreme 4x4 on Spike TV, building everything from race trucks to trail rigs and trailers. She has since become one of the most visible and inspiring women in the industry, appearing on Mythbusters, All Girls Garage, The List: 1001 Car Things To Do Before You Die, and many more. Through the relationships she developed in the off-road industry, Combs entered the world of racing as a competitor in the 2010 King of the Hammers race.

Jessi Combs competing at the 2014 King of the Hammers race in Johnson Valley, California.

She continued to compete in the annual KOH, and in 2014 became the first woman ever to place at an Ultra4 event, nonetheless win King of the Hammers: the Everyman Challenge spec class. Combs is dedicated to inspiring women of all ages to chase down their own dreams at full throttle and to never be afraid to be badass. 

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