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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Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett killed in Pennsylvania race crash

Photo: World of Outlaws
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YORK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) — Sprint Car driver Greg Hodnett died after a crash Thursday night at BAPS Motor Speedway.

The 49-year-old Hodnett, from Spring Grove, Pa., was the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year in 1993 and went on to win 20 World of Outlaws races. He won the opening night this year at the Knoxville Nationals.

“Greg represented the true gentleman competitor in the pit area,” World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter said.

A statement was posted on Hodnett’s racing website, saying: “Please keep (wife) Sherry, the entire Hodnett family, and the Heffner racing team in your thoughts and prayers.

“Greg was a professional in every sense of the word, and will be desperately missed!”

Several NASCAR drivers took to Twitter to express their condolences: