Residents claim Bradenton Motorsports Park violates noise ordinance

srocco@bradenton.comDecember 3, 2013 

Sarasota's David Wilson celebrates his win in Saturday night's 19-car, 75-lap main event at Desoto Speedway, formerly known as Full Throttle Speedway. PROVIDED PHOTO

EAST MANATEE -- On some nights, the searing sound of cars and motorcycles shredding the Bradenton Motorsports Park has Ray Donner up until 1 a.m., despite a Manatee County noise ordinance that calls for an 11 p.m. cut-off time.

"I don't want to be the one that moves next door to an airport and complains about the planes ... but going until 1 a.m. -- that's crazy," said Donner, 58.

Donner, a New England native, lives in Rye Wilderness Estates, a community off of Rye Road, almost 9 miles away from the track. But he says he can still hear the noise like it's in his backyard.

"It's going to 1 a.m. or later in the morning and on weekends. They even advertised that on their website," Donner said. "They must be running ... powerful motorcycles and cars with no mufflers because the noise is just incredible."

Laurie Johnson, general manager of the park, said cars "don't usually" run past 11 p.m. And events that do last until 1 a.m. are for everyday street cars, she said.

"Those events are to get kids off the street and onto the race track and in a controlled environment," Johnson said Monday.

Iola Hartsfield lives in a neighborhood east of the track approximately 1 mile away. Events at the track often go past 11 p.m., she said.

"It goes until at least midnight," said Hartsfield, 78.

Joe Fenton, Manatee county code enforcement manager, said he is in the process of notifying the park.

"We're trying to make a scheduled appointment to go out and talk to them," Fenton said Monday.

On Saturday, the park will host Jet Jam Night of Fire, a racing extravaganza featuring a semi-truck with a jet engine and cars speeding nearly 300 mph. Donner is worried the event, guaranteed to be noisy, will go late into the night.

Johnson said the show will be over at 9 p.m.

"I think it's unfair that just to satisfy a small amount of people that they have to take advantage of hundreds or thousands of people in (our neighborhood)," Donner said. "If I had a party in my backyard at that hour blasting sound, I'm sure neighbors would call the police."

Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @sabrinarocco.

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