On race nights at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, sounds of revving engines and screeching tires can be heard all the way across the city. And for the nearest residents, frustrations with the racetrack have been mounting for years.
But a potential new operator presents an opportunity for change. A new study presented to the fairgrounds’ board offers options for a quieter racetrack.
“Add the mufflers, add the construction,” acoustic consultant Jack Wrightston told fair commissioners this week. “Big reductions in sound levels for the neighborhoods.”
Wrightson says a requirement for mufflers is one possibility. Other immediate solutions include limiting events to a certain time of day and reducing practices.
An exception would be made for NASCAR. It hasn’t had a cup race in Nashville since the 80s, but that could soon change. Bristol Motor Speedway has a tentative agreement with the mayor’s office to renovate the track, with an eye on bringing a top-level race to the fairgrounds.
Other longer term solutions could include building a 20-foot sound absorbing wall and new buildings that would dampen the noise.
While Wrightston says these changes would result in drastic sound reductions, he was quick to add that he isn’t the one making the final call.