Weather forces racetrack muffler noise demonstration date change

Friday, March 25, 2011 at 2:22pm
Staff reports

Auto racers hoping to hold future events at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway have postponed Saturday’s muffler noise demonstrations due to expected inclement weather.

Kristi Harris of the fairgrounds staff said the hope is to move the noise tests to the following Saturday, April 2, though the date is still subject to change.

After the Metro Council voted in January to hold off on the demolition of the track, two groups have proposed holding racing events at the speedway for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. One proposal is from racing promoter Tony Formosa, while former NASCAR drivers Chad Chaffin and Bobby Hamilton Jr. turned in the other.

The Metro Board of Fair Commissioners is set to consider the proposals at its April 5 meeting.

A hurdle for the approval of either proposal is the noise caused by racing, which neighbors have frequently cited. 

Formosa and Chaffin have said adding mufflers to race cars can reduce the sound. They organized the muffler demonstrations to show critics they can hold their events and not disrupt the surrounding neighborhood.  

4 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 3/27/11 at 4:09

You want quiet? You want family friendly? You want novelty? You want a unique-to-Nashville event? You want advanced 21st century racing? If so, limit racing to all-electric vehicles. It would be clean and green; the cars would be lean and mean. Battery change-outs in the pit areas would add a new dimension to automoblile racing.

Any comments on that?

By: racer84 on 3/28/11 at 1:43

I'll comment on that.

What do the racers do with the $20 million + currently invested in racing equipment in Middle Tennessee that you just obsoleted ?

Is there anywhere on planet earth today where people pay to watch vehicles race such as you've suggested on a weekly basis ?

How many of these vehicles currently exist in Middle Tennessee ?

Do you know how expensive it would be to produce a race car such as you've suggested ?

Where would the mechanics come from ?

If you want to make an impact on the enviroment how about offering to be the first to fly cross country on an all electric airplane. What ? That doesn't exist ?

Well there's a good idea shot to pieces

You asked for comments, I obliged with several things you apparently havent considered.

By: Loner on 3/29/11 at 4:30

Thank you race 84; I appreciate your reply and you make some good points.

I was being a bit fanciful...a little pie-in-the-sky, I suppose. But someday racing like that will exist and Nashville could claim to be the birthplace of such clean, green racing.

We could start small...a few Nissan Leafs versus a few Chevy Volts would be enough to draw some media exposure.

This sort of 21st century racing will eventually happen, let it start in Nashville.

By: Shane Smiley on 3/29/11 at 7:37

Loner, I applaud your forward thinking.
The day will come, and soon, when electric or alternative fuel racing will be conducted.
A few green minded Nashvillians are working towards demonstrations this year.
The Fairgrounds motor races started in 1904 as demonstrations.
The Fairgrounds is poised to ring in this exciting new age of planet friendly living, working, and playing.

With the future in mind, our most immediate step concerning racing is sound abatement.
Step 1., Mufflers.
Mufflers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Each muffler design offers different effects on sound and performance levels.
An open exhaust often creates the most performance in a combustion engine, Some perform better with some restriction/back pressure. As you add restriction, you abate noise.
The trick is to find balance in sound abatement/restriction and too much restriction which will cause failure in a high performance combustion engine. Too much back pressure will cause higher exhaust temperature and engine failure. They have to breathe.

My hope would be for the Fair Board to allow competitors time to find the desired balance between sound and performance.
Keep in mind, each motor combination requires a different muffler package.
The muffler on a 400HP V-8 is different from a 300HP V-8 or a 120HP dual overhead cam 4 cylinder.

I know for a fact, as I have been in contact with many performance exhaust manufactures, who have been more than willing to send mufflers to be tested, more than 14 different muffler combinations are ready to be tested.

The race community has done as promised, we have done our homework and brought industry leading technology to the table.
Next step, testing. It would be appropriate to do a test session to try all of these exhaust combinations, check db levels, check exhaust temperature.
The neighbors and the race community deserve to have the opportunity to conduct a full day test. A test encompassing all divisions intending to compete.
I am hearing a rumor stating, "Only one car with a muffler and one car without a muffler" will be allowed to demonstrate at the up coming test.
So, is it a test or a demonstration?
I hope this is not true.
My hopes are that the neighbors and competitors hard work to reach this common ground will not be minimized by the Fair Board.
In my opinion, if all mufflers and engine combinations intending to compete at the track are not given the opportunity for a true test session, The Fair Board will have done a disservice to all involved.

Might I suggest an open test Friday 3PM-7PM. This will allow accumulation of performance data.
Saturday, from 12-3, Invite all out to be a part of the process and utilize the sound metering equipment to compile sound level data.
With the technical data accumulated on Friday combined with sound data on Saturday, a balanced sound abatement program can be built.
This is a prime opportunity for this much ridiculed Fair Board and Buck Dozier to step up and show everyone that they have the Fairgrounds, The Neighbors, Competitors, and citizens best interest at heart.