#calebsdream

Caleb Hammond prepares to take the 46-7 car onto the track at the Southern Iowa Speedway. (photo by Denis Currier/Oskaloosa News)

Caleb Hammond prepares to take the 46-7 car onto the track at the Southern Iowa Speedway. (photo by Denis Currier/Oskaloosa News)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The engines could be heard warming up around Oskaloosa, something not so uncommon except it was 7:30 in the morning versus the evening.

The excitement was building along with the volume from the engines.

In town, people gathered at Julie’s Cafe for breakfast. Owners Julie and Trevor Wells were donating the money from Saturday to the family of Caleb Hammond.

Julie said that they were able to raise nearly $3000 for Caleb and his family, and she thanked the “awesome customers and just an awesome community in general” for making the fundraiser so successful. “We feel blessed to be of some kind of help.”

Caleb and his family have a special connection to Julie’s Cafe, as his aunt, Michelle Stockdale, works there.

The Infield at the Southern Iowa Speedway continued to fill, as everyone prepared to make a dream of Caleb’s come true.

Caleb Hammond, an 11-year-old is living life by the minute and to its fullest, all the while, B-cell ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) is destroying his body.

As Caleb pulled into the pits at the Southern Iowa Speedway, thinking there was going to be family pictures, the cat quickly got out of the bag that he was going to be experiencing a full race day experience.

Julie Wells (foreground) prepares breakfast for a crowd at the fundraiser held at their restaurant Julie's Homestyle Cafe on Saturday morning.

Julie Wells (foreground) prepares breakfast for a crowd at the fundraiser held at their restaurant, Julie’s Homestyle Cafe, on Saturday morning.

At the scoring tower, a drivers meeting took place, helping all the drivers, including Caleb, understand the structure of the morning’s racing action.

Getting a fire suit on, and fitted with a safety equipment, some instruction on driving the car, Caleb was off to the race track. He and several other cars took hot laps around one of the toughest half-mile tracks in the Midwest.

It’s normally months in the planning, but it took less than a week for Team KWC Racing 46-7 to organize and make the magic happen.

According to the Facebook page for KWC Racing 46-7, “IMCA sportmod race car is dedicated to spreading awareness for childhood cancer. 46 kids every day are diagnosed, seven kids every day pass away.”

The stands held over 100 people, all there to share the moment with Caleb.

With hot-laps completed, it was time to line up for the heat race. Six laps was the scheduled distance, and the driver of the 46-7 pulled off the starting line to win.

Just as the feature race was beginning, Caleb pushed for the lead when the right rear tire went flat after a quick restart on lap 3, causing the car to rotate, eventually bringing Caleb and his car into contact with the inside retaining fence between turns 1 and 2.

Caleb Hammond (46-7) turns some quick laps around the Southern Iowa Speedway on Saturday morning.

Caleb Hammond (46-7) turns some quick laps around the Southern Iowa Speedway on Saturday morning.

After the dust and dirt settled, a small cloud of steam began to rise from the fence, and track personnel headed to Caleb’s side. They found him injury free.

As another race car got in behind him to give Caleb a push back to victory lane, the window net went down, and like all the winners before him, he had a huge smile on his face and an arm out the window raised, with his thumb up in victory.

As the flagman, Mark Nelson, held the checkered flag behind Caleb, the crowd yelled out “good job Caleb,” and the smile once again grew.

In victory lane, Caleb “Superstrong” Hammond said “yeah” to the racing action being fun.

As far as being scared, “no” was the response from Caleb. “I just want to say thanks,” Caleb said to all of the race car drivers, officials, and people that poured into the Southern Iowa Speedway to help make another dream come true.

As the morning of racing action was coming to an end, all the drivers, over 40 in all, got in their cars and presented a 4-wide salute around the Southern Iowa Speedway in Caleb’s honor.

The racing community has always called itself one big family, and on Saturday morning, they demonstrated why they have the right to say that.

#calebsdream

Caleb Hammond smiles during his racing experience on Saturday. (photo by Denis Currier/Oskaloosa News)

Caleb Hammond smiles during his racing experience on Saturday. (photo by Denis Currier/Oskaloosa News)

Comments

comments

Posted by on Aug 19 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

           

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
 
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News