Is being in a Speedway state a good thing?

First, an answer to the question I asked in the poll recently. The majority was right, as currently Michigan (9.4) and Indiana (8.9) are above 7.5 cents, while Ohio is at 6.5.

Now, the next question. Is being in a Speedway state a good thing? You do get roller coaster rides of prices, with big 20-30 cent spikes followed by prices falling 2-3 cents a day otherwise. But on average, how good are our gas prices. Hey, I’ve got numbers, let’s see where they fall:

Spreadsheet of tax adjusted Speedway state averages, minus the national average from GasBuddy.

Simply put, almost every state Speedway is in has a lower average than the national average. In states where Speedway dominates it’s even lower. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are 11.1, 9.9 and 9.2 cents below the national average (tax adjusted) this year. Minnesota’s SuperAmericas (which will soon be sold, along with the Marathon infrastructure there) are 7.1 cents below the national average, and Wisconsin and West Virginia are also below. Only Illinois and Kentucky are above the national average.

So the big question is, what do you want? Gas prices that are on average below the national average and volatile prices? Or prices that are steady, but higher? I’ll don’t like Speedway’s way of doing business, but I’ll take lower prices every day of the week.

It will be interesting to see what Minnesota’s prices will do when Speedway is gone. The guy that gave me the idea to start the Spike Line has a similar thing he does, and he might not have to do that anymore.

4 Comments

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  1. The Speedway effect builds added volatility and variation in the gas price – the end result is not just what Speedway wants (more revenue) but also increased consumer apathy towards rising (or changing) prices, or more sinister practices like zone pricing.

    Also, before asking why we in the Speedway Midwest have ‘lower’ average prices, we can also ask why everyone else has ‘higher’ prices. That’s an easier to believe answer than believing that the Speedway effect benefits us.

    The Speedway effect has contributed to the dumbing down of consumer common sense to the point that a $2.69 Speedway station is doing great business across from a $2.49 (pre-spike) non-Speedway station.

  2. Just so it is clear, I am not saying that Speedway is the reason for lower prices in this area. But there are lower prices, and the question had to be asked. Lower, more volatile prices, or higher, steadier prices?

  3. That’s an excellent analysis, Bill. Put that way, I’m not sure what I would prefer — lower average prices, I guess. The ironic thing is that if we had stable prices, that might be better PR for the gas stations, and they might make more money!

  4. As much as I piss and whine about Speedway’s practices, I guess I would rather have the lower prices. It helps that I have pretty much figured out exactly what day they will spike. Guessed the last 2 right on(within 1 day).
    Last week filled up on Tuesday for 2.39 at 7am. By 10am Wednesday, they had all reset to 2.65.
    Today, filled up at 7am for 2.56. By 10am, they had all reset to 2.69.

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