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"George Tet" Tetsuo Fuchigami
Born: April 1, 1923
Home: Ozone Park, NY

George Tet, the first Japanese NASCAR driver and a florist from Long Island, New York, aka Tetsio Futchiami, was a top New England area modified driver back in the 50's and 60's. He was the Islip Speedway 1960 Champion.

Tet only raced three times in NASCAR and he was over his head at Daytona as witnessed in the 1961 Daytona 500 as he started 55th and finished 51st, only lasting 24 laps.

George's American family were actually from Hawaii, but of Japanese decent. Being the first Japanese NASCAR driver, he adds to the Legend of NASCAR.

 

Ed Duncan: George Tet #669 at Old Bridge, NJ 1957. The car was painted orchard with black numbers. The reason he chose this color was because he was a florist from Ozone Park, L.I.  New York.
                                                                     

Mike Fucello:  My Dad ,Tom, helped build this car. As a matter of fact, that looks like him behind the wheel loading it onto the trailer. It's sure not George. I'd know that "profile" anywhere. I have one just like it. (Later) Sent my Dad the link and he explained photo. That is him in the car. Truck cab had two seats only so he and his brother Frank would ride back to Queens in the race car.


George Tet in the Geisha Girl #9
Islip Speedway
From the Pat Matragano Collection

Islip & Freeport Speedway Race Long Island Driver - New England Tracks
Islip Speedway Champion 1960

 

Old Bridge Stadium

The 100 lap, Eastern States Championship was held on the 1/2 mile paved Old Bridge Stadium. When it was all over, Bill McCarthy cruised to a halt, (holding the broken gear shift in his hand), as the winner, of the prestigious race.  McCarthy set such a blistering pace that he lapped all but second place George Tet, who both blew a tire and ran out of fuel just after taking the checkered. Jim Hendricksonís car and Orie Hammondís car both caught fire during the race but neither driver was injured.   Don "Stumpy" Stumpf was 3rd, and Bobby Malzhan came in 4th.

George Tet NASCAR Grand National Statistics

Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1960 37 1 of 44 0 0 0 0 171 0 200 121 47.0 38.0 256.5
1961 38 2 of 52 0 0 0 0 60 0 250 185 42.0 37.5 150.0
2 years 3 0 0 0 0 231 0 450   43.7 37.7 406.5

1960 NASCAR Grand National Driver Statistics

Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
21 Charlotte 60 47 38 50 Dick Freeman Ford 171/400 200 head gasket 0

1961 NASCAR Grand National Driver Statistics

Race Site Cars St Fin # Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led
3 Daytona 34 29 24 60 Tetsuo Fuchigami Ford 36/39 50 running  
5 Daytona 58 55 51 60 Tetsuo Fuchigami Ford 24/200 200 valve 0

1961 NASCAR Grand National Owner Statistics

Year Driver Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn Miles
1961 George Tet 2 0 0 0 0 60 0 250 185 42.0 37.5 150.0
1 year 2 0 0 0 0 60 0 250   42.0 37.5 150.0

 


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