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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Dean Wilson out for the remainder of the Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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