Caleb Hammond. Photo: Angie Holland, Oskaloosa Herald via AP

Racing stickers pour in for casket of 11-year-old Iowa boy dying from leukemia

5 Comments

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) — Race drivers and others have been answering the call from an 11-year-old Iowa boy who wants racing stickers to cover his casket after he dies from leukemia.

Caleb Hammond’s uncle, Chris Playle, told The Des Moines Register that his family brought him home to Oskaloosa, about 55 miles southeast of Des Moines, after determining the painful treatments he’d been undergoing at a Des Moines hospital weren’t working and other options offered little hope.

Playle says Caleb’s been home for about three weeks doing things an 11-year-old normally does, but that he tires easily.

Caleb has loved auto racing since the age of 2, when he started visiting his uncle at his home near the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. The two would watch as drivers parked their cars on the street before the track opened and then would head to the stands to see the colorful cars race around the speedway.

“He’s my racing buddy. It was kind of our deal,” Playle said. “I probably had just as much fun as he did.”

Caleb's Dream Race Day

Yesterday Caleb Hammond, an 11 year old battling luekemia got to experience racing in a way that any young fan would dream of! It was great to see the racing commuinty rally together and make this come together in such short notice. As you will see, the result will leave you with a smile on your face and proud to be apart of the racing family! Tag and share with anyone who is not already included!

Posted by Aspire Film Productions on Sunday, August 19, 2018

His passion for racing is what prompted the request for stickers. Playle said the stickers have been pouring in after social media appeals, helping to keep everyone’s spirits up.

Playle said the family is “just trying to do as much as we can with him while he’s here.”

Caleb’s got to experience racing first-hand on Saturday when he suited up in driving gear and sped around a dirt track in a stock car designed for children. A 12-year-old racer sat beside Caleb to help him learn to work the stick-shift and navigate the track.

Caleb’s father, John Hammond, told The Oskaloosa Herald that the entire family had been looking forward to the racing.

“A goal of his was to be able to drive a race car when he got older,” Hammond said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Per the Des Moines Register:

Stickers and cards can be sent to Caleb Hammond’s family at 314 North J Street, Oskaloosa, IA 52577.

Barber IndyCar iRacing results

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Scott McLaughlin led the final six laps Saturday and finished 0.4241 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power to win the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott Speed finished third behind the Team Penske drivers. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Click here for the full boxscore from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing event at Barber Motorsports Park.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

Other notable finishers:

Colton Herta (seventh), Robert Wickens (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (12th), Graham Rahal (14th), Alexander Rossi (22nd).

Sage Karam led a race-high 24 laps but retired from the 45-lap event because of a crash and finished 27th of 29 drivers.