Start the decade with Joe Rosenfield, end it with Ron Bouchard, and stuff countless other legends in the middle. This also marked the decade with the largest assortment of divisions in history, with competitors competing in the Class A, B, Midgets, Bombers, Modifieds and more. That quickly sums up the 1960s at Seekonk Speedway.
Rosenfield, a 2020 Seekonk Wall of Fame member, started his winning tenure in the previous decade, but picked up most of his 25 career Seekonk wins in this one — becoming the track’s first four-time champion, with all of them coming in the “A” class. He wasn’t a stranger to the front of the field in the 60s, winning championships in the first three years in the top division. After that, he would return to glory in ’64. Veteran Billy Clarke, who would continue racing all the way into his 80th year, would earn a championship in ’63 in the Sportsman division, while the remainder of the decade opened the door for future veterans to rise to the top.
Former NASCAR Modified and Seekonk champion Bugsy Stevens (’65) and Derek Astle (’66) grabbed two, while it ended with the beginning of dominance of one driver who wasn’t only a Seekonk record-holder, but a NASCAR Cup Series winner. Ron Bouchard would score his first championships in ’68 and ’69, before heading into the next decade, where he would seal four straight. Joe Martin would earn his first and only Class A win in ’68, a 30 lap feature in late August.
Fred Astle Sr., who won a chunk of races in this decade, was one tough customer. The oldest of the Astle brothers, the Wesport, Massachusetts, native started winning back in the 50s, but wasn’t done. Over his career, he drove for Bill Ross and Frenchie Gendreau, among others, and spent many years behind the wheel of a car he built himself. He amassed 21 victories, but many of them in his decade.
In the second-tier division (now Late Models), Les Andrews and Dick Machado split two of the first three titles, but it was Manny “Pop” Silvia who took two of his own, kicking off his Wall of Fame career in style with countless wins and two titles. He picked up his first victory in ’62, on the way to the championship in the same year, before adding another in ’64. A decade later, he would dominate the Mini Stock class, winning a title in ’76, and his final race in ’78. Track favorites Ed “Flash” Flanagan, Sonny Mello, Bill Anderson and George Ponte also earned top honors.
Sliding in from the previous decade, Dave Humphrey and Hop Harrington would keep winning, while Bobby Sprague and Fred Luchesi would also keep earning checkered flags. George Summers, who would later be declared the all-time wins leader at Seekonk with 100 wins, dominated much of this decade, extending his number forward, with many of his wins coming in the A class.
Winning car owners in this decade included Marty Zingali, Louis Auclair, Tony Cortes, Deke Astle Sr., George Murray, Billy Clarke, Len Boehler, Rollie Lindblad, Dave Lind and others. NEMA Midgets would continue competing at Seekonk through this decade, keeping the Midget base that D. Anthony built alive and well, while USAC cars also rolled into the third-mile oval. Midget and Class A races extended to 100 laps at times.