In Nashville, Debate Over Racetrack Pits Nostalgia and Change

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NASHVILLE — Shannon McCullough has a favorite lullaby, and it begins with the revving of a carbureted V8 engine. From her house on Merritt Avenue she could hear it most of her life, the hypnotic, oscillating drone as the stock cars approached and receded, approached and receded.

She has been listening to this sound for nearly all of her 48 years, and, she said, “it can put me to sleep.”

Then there’s Jean Boles, 65, a hairdresser who lives about five blocks away.

“The racetrack has been a thorn in my side for 37 years,” she said.

And therein lies the dispute that prompted one of the most crowded Nashville Metropolitan Council hearings in years, a debate about nostalgia and progress and a custody battle over a neighborhood that could just as well have been a over the city itself....

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