Billy Gene Hughes Jr., 60, of Fort Smith died Monday, March 3, 2014. He was born May 10, 1953, in Van Buren. He worked at Harry G. Barr Co. and Baldor Electric and was a self-employed contractor. He was the first African-American to race at Crawford County Speedway in Van Buren and Tri-State in Pocola.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. James Baptist Church with burial at Washington Cemetery under the direction of Rowell-Parish Mortuary.

He is survived by two daughters, Deborah Irvin and Diresha Smith, both of Little Rock; one son, TJ Berryman of Fayetteville; four brothers, John, James and Bobby Hughes, all of Fort Smith, and Frederick Hughes of Van Buren; and eight grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Phillip Bridges, Dustin Lane, Larry Norwood, Ronnie Hamilton, Warner Mays Jr. and Gregory Shurn. Viewing will be today at the funeral home.