A group of homeowners has filed a complaint against the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds in an attempt to stop motorized racing.

All things considered, I have no trouble conceding that along Smith Street in Warsaw probably is not the best place for a race track.

At the same time, I understand the financial strain the fairgrounds is under and that racing provides much-needed revenue. I also understand the type of racing they do there involves lots of kids and families. It’s wholesome. Heck, anything that pries a kid away from his phone for a few hours is a big plus in my book.

I also can see where people around the lake would be annoyed by the noise of stock cars on a Saturday night.

But here’s the thing.

I don’t think this has to be an all-or-nothing situation.

I spoke to a couple of Winona Lake property owners about the race track.

They told me that races in April were really loud. One said with all the windows closed and the TV on, he could still hear the racing.

I can see where that would be bothersome.

So I asked this homeowner, “What about all the other races?”

His response was instructional. He said, “What other races?”

I pointed out to him that there have been several races each year for at least three years. I noted that we’ve had several stories in the newspaper about them, including one about local race driving legend Tony Elliott taking part in the inaugural race back in 2015.





I wondered why he, and apparently many other property owners around the lake, didn’t hear any of those races.

I had a hard time convincing the second property owner I talked to that there had been racing going on at the fairgrounds since 2015.

He straight up didn’t believe me until I provided details and pointed him to the Warsaw Motorsports Complex website.

So it seems to me there is a significant level of racing that can go on at the racetrack without bothering the neighbors.

I’m pretty sure I understand why.

On the nights when it was really loud, it was “Test N Tune/Truck and Tractor Pulls” night. According to the organization’s website, this included “Big Block Rail Tractors, Hot Farm Tractors, 6500# Stock Trucks - Gas, 8000# Modified Diesel, 8000# Work Stock Diesel Trucks.”

That sounds loud just reading it.

But those events are not the mainstay of the organization.

The majority of races  involve what are known as Micro Sprints – 600cc Winged Micros, Junior Micros, Restrictor and 600cc Non Winged Micros.

For the uninitiated, the power of an engine is based on its displacement. That’s the volume of air that’s being pushed out of the cylinders and through the valves by the pistons.

You may have heard of a 350-cubic-inch V8. That means the volume of the eight cylinders in that engine totals 350 cubic inches.

The engines in the Micro Sprints displace 600cc. That’s 36.6 cubic inches. So these little Micro Sprints, most of which are driven by kids, have roughly one-tenth the displacement and power of a 350-cubic-inch V8 engine.

And they generate about one-tenth the noise.

Now, even these little engines can sound pretty ratty if they are run with open pipes.

But with a decent muffler, they probably make less noise than an average push mower. I realize those engines breathe better and generate more horsepower with a less restrictive exhaust system, but too bad.

So how about this: The property owners relent and allow Warsaw Motorsports Complex to run the Micro Sprint schedule as long as they use mufflers to keep the noise down.

Any truck or tractor pulls, demolition derbies or other large displacement events could only be held during fair week.

The fairgrounds gets to have racing and the neighbors have peace and quiet.

Seems to me, with a little communication, good faith and a commitment to following the rules, the neighbors and the fairgrounds could come to an amicable agreement.

Then, everybody wins.