"George Tet" Tetsuo Fuchigami
Born: April 1, 1923
Home: Ozone Park, NY
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
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
From the Pat Matragano Collection
Islip & Freeport Speedway Race
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.