Photo courtesy Caleb Hammond family

Funeral services set for young fan who wanted race stickers for his coffin

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Caleb Hammond, the brave 11-year-old race fan who requested racing stickers be applied to his coffin when he passed away, will be laid to rest Saturday in his hometown of Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Visitation will be held Friday at Gateway Church of the Nazarene in Oskaloosa, starting at 11 a.m. CT. His funeral will be Saturday, at the same church, at 10:30 a.m. CT.

In one of Caleb’s last requests, he asked that those attending both his wake and funeral wear either Green Bay Packers clothing or racing regalia, per a report by WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa.

Caleb passed away early Monday morning after a two-plus year battle with leukemia. His family had stopped treatments last month when doctors said the leukemia was too far advanced to continue treatment.

“To know Caleb was to know how strong, brave, loving, caring and courageous he was,” his obituary read. “To his parents he was their strength, the sunshine to their days, their hero but first and foremost, he was their Little Boy.

“Caleb was selfless and hated seeing his parents sad when he was sick, he was stubborn and held on until they all fell asleep.”

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

Caleb had asked several local area Iowa race teams to send him stickers to apply to his coffin when he passed away. The story went viral globally and brought together the world of motorsport in a way that hasn’t been seen in a long time.

Teams and drivers from IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws and other racing teams and sanctioning bodies inundated Caleb’s home with countless stickers as well as a variety of souvenirs, autographs, photos and more.

Caleb was remembered prior to Monday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a moment of silence.

Given the response from IndyCar and NHRA teams to Caleb’s request for stickers for his coffin, it’s likely he’ll also be remembered this weekend at the IndyCar race in Sonoma, California, and the NHRA race in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Even in his final weeks, Caleb never stopped smiling or displaying a spirit that brought both smiles and tears to countless individuals that didn’t even know him, particularly race car drivers like Kyle Larson.

 

Among the special moments Caleb got to enjoy before his passing was being honored with a ride around his local short track, Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, on August 18, where he won a ceremonial race in his honor.

He also was treated to a 200-mph ride in a $3 million Ferrari around Iowa Speedway near his home in the weeks before his condition worsened.

Here are some additional and noteworthy posts from social media remembering and honoring Caleb:

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Christopher Bell wins third straight Chili Bowl

@cbnationals, Twitter
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Christopher Bell passed Kyle Larson on the final lap of the 55-lap A-Feature to win the 33rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. Bell is only the second driver in event history to win three consecutive Golden Drillers, joining Kevin Swindell who holds the record with four.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to win the Chili Bowl,” Bell said at ChiliBowl.com. “To do it three straight times is just unbelievable, but man, I don’t even care about three straight. What about that race? I don’t think I’ve ever really been a part of a last lap race like that, so I’m just glad that thing came out in the end.”

As the white flag waved on his eighth appearance in Saturday’s main event, it seemed Larson was finally going to walk away with his first Golden Driller. This was closest he’s been to the win.

Larson took the lead from Logan Seavey on Lap 21 after a five-lap hot pursuit. Bell moved into second for the first time on Lap 27 but a caution forced him back to third as the field realigned to the last completed lap.

On Lap 33, Bell passed Seavey again for second before another caution reset the field. On the next restart Bell road the rim diving to the hub in Turns 3 and 4. With Larson in sight, Bell started to think about where he was going to put his third trophy.

The final caution flag of the night waved with 20 to go to set up the Bell vs. Larson shootout fans had been waiting for since Larson retired early from the race last year. Larson pulled away on the highline in Turns 1 and 2. He switched to the low in 3 and 4.

With five laps to go Larson hit traffic. That gave Bell the opportunity to close the gap. With two to go Bell was on top of Larson and challenging for the lead. On the final lap Bell passed Larson in Turn 2 as they bumped tires. Glued together through the final pair of turns, they touched twice more before Bell pulled away on the final stretch.

The action wasn’t over, however. Bell wound up on his lid following the win. His donuts got a little out of control and he rolled his midget.

Justin Grant took third by passing Brady Bacon on Lap 36. Bacon followed for fourth with Zach Daum in tow to complete the top five.

Tyler Courtney was the hard charger of the night finishing sixth after starting in 22nd. Brad Sweet and CJ Leary finished seventh and eighth.

Seavey was able to hold onto third until late in the race but ultimately the pole sitter who led the first 20 laps faded to ninth.

Tanner Thorson rounded out the top ten.

Friday’s Main Event

1. Christopher Bell
2. Kyle Larson
3. Justin Grant
4. Brady Bacon
5. Zach Daum
6. Tyler Courtney
7. Brad Sweet
8. CJ Leary
9. Logan Seavey
10. Tanner Thorson
11. Danny Stratton
12. Jonathan Beason
13. Tucker Klaasmeyer
14. Colby Copeland
15. Rico Abreu
16. Michael Faccinto
17. Chad Boat
18. David Gravel
19. Cole Bodine
20. Robert Dalby
21. Jake Neuman
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23. Shane Golobic
24. Sean McClelland