Oilstick History of the Annual Car Racer's Reunion by Richard Parks
Oilstick Home

Richard sent this to me recently and while the even is past it is quite significant in that it gives the history of some of our events, people, and just the sport in general.  Please enjoy.. Remember this is 2003.

Gone Racin’…to the 12th Annual Car Racer’s Reunion 

Mark on your calendar the following date; April 6th, 2003.  That is the date for the 12th Annual Car Racer’s

Reunion, honoring the drivers, owners, crew, family, friends and spectators in automotive racing.  This

reunion started out as a gathering of Jalopy racers and has grown over the years to encompass all aspects

of the sport.  Organized by Hila Sweet, who raced under the names of Morgan and Paulson, this gathering

has grown to over 300 people.  Hila hails from the Southland, and grew up in a tough neighborhood.  Her

father taught her to box at a young age, and along with other early day racers, wasn’t someone to take

advantage of. 


Hila married the car builder and owner, Ummie Paulson, and began a career as a mom,

wife and ferocious car racer.  Whether in jalopies, stock cars or other vehicles, she was known for not

backing down in a race.  Promoters often scheduled match races with the track favorite, and the other

male drivers would make the mistake of easing off, until they realized their error.  Her string of victories

against the men were matched when she raced the ladies.  She once recorded a streak of 58 consecutive

victories, and was asked to leave the women’s racing group.  Good friends with racing legends like

Parnelli Jones, Leroy Neumayer and Chuck Hulse, Hila found the time to raise a family, race cars and

compile friendships along the way.  Parnelli Jones stayed with Hila and Ummie and got his start in the

Paulson’s car.  Today their friendship is as strong as ever.


Twelve years ago, Hila, now married to Bob Sweet, decided to organize a reunion to bring back all her

friends from the past.  This reunion is a shared experience.  Everyone is welcome to bring their race

cars, photo albums, racing memorabilia and memories.  No class of auto racing is excluded.  The motto

is, “the more the merrier.”  Besides, it is very hard to exclude anybody.  Racers are known for trying

every facet of auto racing, and while most racers started on the streets, graduating to the Dry Lakes,

Bonneville, drag or oval track racing, they are not averse to running in road races, Pike’s Peak,

or foreign races.  Racers might be famous for racing stock cars, or winning at Indy, but they were far

more complex and interesting than just one type of racing or another. 


Expect far more from this affair than you think.  Hila goes out of her way to make sure that every area

of the reunion will be rewarding.  She fusses over the food, coffee and snacks.  She works on a program

that not only honors those old time racers, but informs and entertains as well.  Outside the building

where the reunion is held are numerous cars representing all aspects of automobile racing.  Chuck

Groninga brings his collection of memorabilia and reproductions for sale.  Others bring photo albums,

posters, memorabilia and other collectibles to share.  Bring your camera and some Sharpie (™) pens

to collect photos and autographs from your favorite race car drivers.  You will see cars representing

the Dry Lakes, Bonneville, stock car, midgets, jalopies and many more on display.  When possible,

sometimes the dirt track is available and the cars take turns doing “victory laps.”


With all reunions, it is not possible to say who will be attending as circumstances sometimes change.

Past attendees have included Parnelli Jones, Carroll Shelby, Leroy Neumayer, Chuck Hulse, Jack

Mendenhall, JC Agajanian Jr, Rick Rickman, Harry Schooler, Louie Senter, Jumpin’ Jack Summers,

Ron Henderson and “The Lady Dragon,” Don Edmunds, Bob Falcon, Don Edwards, Walt and Dottie

James from the CRA reunion, Ray and Nancy Alcaraz from Racers of Balboa.  Also, Bob Anderson,

Bob Hogle, Ed Justice Sr and Jr, Paul and Jaspar Lopiccolo, Paula Murphy, Jimmie Oskie, Earl Mansell,

Kenny Parks, Danny Oakes, Rodger Ward, Bob Basile, Julian Doty, Stan Betz, Ed Iskenderian, Art

Bagnall, Andy Casale, Lloyd Hendrickson, Ralph Foster, Joaquin Arnett and the ever irrepressible

Bean Bandits of San Diego.  Pit passes are $28 each.  The event begins at noon and is located at the

Fairgrounds in Victorville, California.  For more information, contact Hila at Hilasweet@aol.com or

by phone at 714-374-7672.


Contact Gone Racin’ at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM