Is Speedway the #1 gas brand?

Recently I came upon an article that stated Speedway was ranked the number one gas brand for the fifth quarter in a row. It is a part of a multi-brand survey put out by Harris Interactive as the EquiTrend Brand Survey.

In the survey they ask people about different brands in different categories like favorite hotel (Marriott), fast food (Subway) and favorite airline (Southwest). They say they base the survey on six base measures including familiarity, quality, purchase consideration, brand expectations, distinctiveness and trust. A seventh was added this year due to the economy, value.

So, the big question is, does Speedway deserve this award? To help find that out, first I want to review my experiences at Speedway for you here. Then I want to hear from you in the comments and see what you think of the brand.

Speedway is a pretty familiar brand in these parts. They are the 800lb gorilla in the Indiana, Michigan and Ohio markets, so I can see them ranking high in this area. They also have a good ad campaign.

For gas, I haven’t had any that was bad quality in my life. Most gas comes from the same rack anyway depending on the area, so quality in gasoline is really a moot point to me. The quality of the store on the other hand sometimes leaves a lot to be desired.

Speedway stores come in three kinds; large lot, medium lot and small lot. Most of the large lot stores are of higher quality. They have a big enough lot that even with 10-14 pumps, maneuvering is easy, and there is usually parking right in front. The inside of the store can typically be a little cramped, especially when busy up near the cashiers. There is a wide selection of chips, candy, snack cakes, fountain and pre-packaged drinks, and store prepared food.

The medium lot stores carry 6-10 pumps, and are a little tighter to maneuver in. You usually have to park on the side of the store to park legally, although some people squeeze in parallel to the front of the store. The store inside is much more cramped, and the selection suffers a little, too. The feel of quality is diminished here because the shopping experience is just not as good.

This is nothing compared to the small lot stores, which have 4-6 pumps, not even enough room to park in front of the store, have a very small selection of items and more than two people inside the store is pushing it. I have seen quite a few small lot stores demolished and rebuilt, re-branded to Rich stations, or just let go. They really drag down the quality of the brand in my eyes.

The inside of the store is usually clean, and I also give them good marks for clean bathrooms. Generally while cramped, the shelves are usually well stocked, and organized. Cashiers are sometimes rude, but overall I’ve had good experiences with them. Sadly, the free air to pump up my tires is now gone, one of my biggest complaints as of late.

Everybody’s heard of the Speedy rewards program. It’s free to sign up, and you can use it to get free stuff on purchases at Speedway. It has been a declining program, as a whole, however. At first you could get 10 points a dollar on any purchase. But as gas prices increased, they dropped the points you could earn for fuel purchase to 10 points per gallon. I used to be able to save up enough points to get a car wash 2-3 times a year (around 5000 points) but now I just use it to get the occasional soda (750 points).

For fuel purchasers like me, it’s not much of a reward program anymore, unless of course I go inside to buy a $50 gas card for fuel purchases, which puts an instant 1000 points on top of the 200-300 I’ll get for fuel purchases. They have also had 5 cents a gallon off during the weekends in September. They also say they have a surprise for us in November. Also, if you signed up for the Speedway MasterCard from Chase, you’ve seen your points diminish as well, as Patrick has commented on here previously.

So, is Speedway the best C-Store experience for me? I would have to say my favorite C-Store is BP. They are almost always three things; never crowded due to the size and spacing of the store, friendly, and clean. Of course, that’s just my experience in Indiana. I’d like to see more MotoMarts here as well after my visit to St. Louis in the dead of summer this year. Nice, big, clean, well stocked and besides flavor shots for your fountain drinks, they also have energy shots. Yum and zoom.

So, what are your thoughts on Speedway? And what do you consider the best gas brand out there?


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  1. I’m a bit of a car fanatic, and all my current vehicles take 93 octane. To keep carbon buildup down, and air flowing freely through the engines, I am willing to pay a few cents more for the gas with additives. BP and Shell are the 2 locally available to me. You can by gasoline additives in the auto parts stores, but the overall cost is less paying for the premium fuels.

    just my 2c

  2. Always been a BP fan myself. They are just nicer around here in Ohio.

    Oh, and my captcha word is buttocks.

  3. I work for Speedway in the Grand Rapids area, and I must admit that the quality of the customer service has declined as the quality of employee benefits/appreciation has also declined. They sent us an internal email discussing virtually the same thing that the public release had to say.

    In regard to fuel with additives, Speedway fuel is the exact same blend as what is at Marathon stations – with STP additives.

  4. I’m disappointed you didn’t defend our employer better. If you’re so unhappy with the decline in Benefits then why are you still employed there? I most defiantly feel that Speedway SuperAmerica deserves this recognition.

  5. A few years ago, a Buick dealer mechanic told my wife not to use BP because it would eat the
    O Rings in fuel injector. He recommended Marathon, Sheetz and Speedway. Sheetz certainly has the nicest stores in northeast Ohio. Just got a new(previously owned) late model Buick and I was reading in the manual that you should only use “top tier gas” in these cars, including Marathon, EXXON, Shell, Conoco and others too numerous to mention. BP is not mentioned. From the What’s It Worth Department. Many times “top tier gas” appears on
    gas pump, according to manual.

  6. I am one of the drivers you see delivering gasoline/diesel to stores like Speedway, Exxon, BP & Sam’s Club. First there are three parts to the gasoline you pump into your cars. First almost all gas contains 10% ethanol. The next parts is the base gasoline ranging from 84 to 93 octane. The last part is the detergent additive. There’s two types of loading “racks” as we call them, first is exchange racks. These racks despence products for name brand gas and wholesale/unbranded products. The base gasoline must be tested and suppliers like BP, Shell & Exxon must approve and accept the product meets their standards before allowing their additives to be injected during loading to become “branded gas”. Exchange racks accept gasoline from refineries from pipelines or barges and most of the time they have no idea what refinery it came from. The other rack is “brand only”. This is a rack that is operated by the brand and only sells that particular brand. Most racks are considered exchange. Its not uncommon to load Exxon gas at a Marathon or Kinder-Morgan. The dirty little secret in the gas industry is that all of the bas gasoline is the same except for octane ratings and Reed vapor pressure. The differance is the additives injected during loading. So the marketing of gas boils down to the additives. Here is what I know about who uses what additives. Since Marathon owns Speedway the Speedway gas is loaded exclusively at Marathon racks using Marathon’s additive BUT at a greatly reduced rate. Marathon brand gas is injected with their additive for all octane grades at 250ppm (parts per million). Speedway (and all of Marathons unbranded/wholesale gas) is injected with same additive but at 100ppm for all grades. The brand name of Marathons additive is HiTec 6550. Exxon recently changed from PurAdd to HiTec (can’t remember numbers) and it is injected at 300ppm for 87 & 89 octane and 500ppm for 93. BP uses Invigorate additive at 350ppm 87 & 89 & 550ppm for 93. Shell uses NEMO additive at 250ppm all grades. Sunoco will vary depending on what rack it was lifted. From a Sunoco rack it has SunPur, if lifted from an exchange rack it will most likely have the genieric or “house” additive for that rack. Unbranded/wholesale gasolines from exchange racks will have the minimum and cheapest additive allowed by federal law. Places like Sheetz, Murphy, Pilot & Kroger will shop the local racks every day to get the lowest price per gallon. So one load might be from Buckeye Terminals unbranded the next might be from Kinder-Morgan with Exxon branded the next might be from Marathon. What you get at branded stations (Marathon, Exxon/Mobil, BP, Shell & Chevron) is certain gas quality and additive performance. From unbranded stations you are getting the lowest cost products they could negotiate.
    The quick definition of octane ratings is a measure of how will the gas resists self igniting under pressure before the spark plug fires. The premature ignition of the gas is what causes knocking/pinging and loss of energy.
    Hope this helps.

  7. Thanks for some LONG sought after info. Consumers need and want to be able to know the inside scoop.

  8. I too deliver gas in the Chicago/Indiana area. I have delivered to Speedways, Shells, Gas Citys (no longer in existence), Citgos and a ton of other wholesale no name gas stations. The driver above is correct on what he says about the difference being additive, but the difference in gas stations go much further than that. Speedway is a Wholesale Gas chain for Marathon. They are not required to carry Marathon gas. They will carry what ever is cheapest on the market at the time, be it Citgo, Mobil, BP or Marathons (all unbranded fuels) to their stations.

    I will only buy gas myself from a Speedway, Thorntons or any other “High Volume” gas station. Mobil, BP, Citgo and Shell have all sold their stations to private local owners that are contracted to use their store flags Branded Gas. These new owners are trying to maximize their profits and play the market on a daily bases. What this means is some station owners that sell lower volumes will let their tanks run as low as 750 gallons in a 15,000 or even 20,000 gallon tank. What does this mean? It means there is condensation in their tanks. It means you are pumping the bottom of their tanks when you fuel your car, and that means you are getting their slop!

    Gas is gas, but the best thing to do is go to a high volume station that doesn’t run their tanks as low as possible.

  9. And one more thing to add. Privately owned gas station owners are notorious for “over ordering” their Regular Unleaded gas. When this happens, all the 87 octane gas won’t fit in the proper tank. Then the station owner will ask the (percentage paid) driver to throw the rest over to their Premium 93 octane tank.

    The driver is being paid percentage. He will lose time, and time is money if he does the “proper thing” and diverts the gas over to another station. Do the math… many drivers are willing to spend that much time not being paid?

    Another suggestion. Never buy your Premium or Midgrade gas from a low volume privately owned station.

  10. I have been using speedway gas for about 15 years and was curious to see what there was on the internet about marathon and speedway. finding out from the manager that marathon was the parent company they had changed one to a speedway in my area and there are three around my employer.I finally signed up for speedy rewards about two year ago it a nice perk I do my own maintenance on my cars plugs are firing ok change your fuel filter on schedule I would rate the up with major brands .Dave

  11. Speedway just took over all the Hess Stations here on Long Island…literally, overnight! We knew it was coming, but we couldn’t believe how were passing our local Hess station in the morning…and by the afternoon, every single thing in the station was Speedway! We did like Hess gas, so I am hoping the Marathon/Speedway product will be as good.

  12. Same here, Michele. I live on Long Island and I couldn’t believe how quickly they turned over all 3 Hess stations in my area to Speedway (and started charging for air with a credit card accepting machine – they rigged up all that electronics and CC access pretty darn quick!) The Gulf near me also changed over to a “76” station – so there are no familiar gas stations in my area now. Since Hess is concentrating on just refining gas now, I was hoping to find out on the Internet that Hess may be providing the gas to Speedway here in the Northeast. I do feel better about buying Speedway gas after reading this thread and just told my wife to fill up at Speedway as she was headed out the door.

    Thank you to all the contributors for putting me at ease about buying Speedway gas. It’s a new name to us here on Long Island, NY.

  13. We actually used Speedway, Rick, and so far, so good! We signed up for their rewards card (the Hess web folks actually advised me to do this a while back when they knew of the transition) and we are hoping it will all work out! Good luck and have a great summer here on the island!

  14. Hi, Michele. I filled up yesterday after reading the positive reviews here. I drove 60+ miles today and got good mpg with no hiccups or stalls or anything that you might expect from inferior gas. Not that that was any kind of scientific confirmation but I’m certainly comfortable using Speedway gasoline after reading this forum; so, thanks to all of you. And they did ask me if I wanted a rewards card but I was in a hurry so I’ll sign up for one next time.

    Michele, enjoy your summer here on our great Island, as well. Do you kayak at all? It’s one of my favorite things to do (next to SCUBA) on the Island.

  15. Hi, Rick! Happy to hear you are having a good Speedway experience! And, hey, if you can’t get to the station, you can sign up online for a rewards account; I just gave my husband a coupon for 500 bonus points I received from them. You won’t save a fortune, but it’s a fun thing to have.

    We could kayak, since many folks we know do; Key West has THE BEST diving, yes?

    Enjoy our own Conch Republic summer!

  16. I have been using Speedway for 15yrs. here in Illinois never had a single issue ( aside from a mgr. that was well an a h l e and I know because I am one also. I was off for the winter and my father was ill some 150 mi. away, low on cash ( and my truck getting 10mi./ gal in winter) I traded in my points, it takes time to accumulate them but the points were there when I needed them, a nice perk indeed! On a side note a friend drives a company van and pays out of pocket for the gas and is reimbursed by the company thereby getting free points, so sometimes there is more to it than meets the eye.

  17. What is the premium octane rating of Speedway and Marathon Gasoline?

  18. So long story short is Speedway fuels have additives but in lessor quantities than the branded fuel stations so therefore NOT top tier fuel?

  19. Link to official list of top tier gasoline brands and companies:

    Neither Marathon nor Speedway are listed.

  20. Have been using Speedway plus for 2 years. No knocking in my high performance enfone.
    Before used BP, had knocking in engine.
    Before that used EXXON, had knocking in engine.

    I had my engine checked for sludge, ZERO sludge.
    I’m saving money, and the perks with SPEEDY are GREAT !!!!!!!!

  21. I did a test on mpg on gas and I found the worst mpg on gas was speedway and the best was shell and bp, with speedway I was getting 16 miles per gallon, shell 20 miles per gallon and about the same for BP, if you don’t believe me try the test, I seldom use speedway.

  22. I have been using Speedway for years with no problems. I just bought a new car for the first time in 25 years and the manual hightly recommends the use of only a Top Tier brand gasoline. I must say I was disappointed not to see Speedway. I often use Costco which is on the list and is a Top Tier fuel.
    I have been using Speedway far more often due to convenience but with this new car that has a Turbo in it….lets just say with the “sticker shock”
    of not buying a car in so long, I may have to make some changes to help protect my investment.
    Like I mentioned, I’ve never had a problem.

  23. Marathon announced yesterday via a press release that they are now officially Top Tier.

  24. All Speedways are company owned and follow the same policy and procedures company wide. I am a Speedway employee with their in house maintenance department and would like to share a few things that I know because I’m involved every day. Because we have in house maintenance (over 200 technicians) we are on top of any issues that may arise same day. When it comes to fuel quality you can’t go wrong with our product. Speedway has a strict policy of replacing fuel filters a minimum of once a year. Average for individually owned BP’s and other major brands is 2-3 years. The filters Speedway uses do not allow any dirt or water to enter your vehicle. Yes, they stop water from passing through as well as dirt and debris. Speedway is committed to product quality and believe me, I’ve been out in the middle of the night to investigate problems many times. Is Speedway perfect ? No….. but I can assure you that our product quality department is second to none and every store is monitored closely to ensure we are providing an excellent product. I know some people will say I’m praising them because I work for them but I’m 1 of 33,000 employees and I have nothing to gain from this post. They are a very successful company ( Fortune 500 if they were not Marathon) and it takes quality to be successful for so long. So for the east coast people (Hess) who don’t recognize Speedway you can rest assured that you are purchasing a quality product. I personally work hard to make sure that happens daily.

  25. Speedway DOES NOT sell top tier gasoline. Their gasoline has the minimum detergent package required by the gov’t. Brands that are top tier include Sunoco, Shell, Chevron, most recently Valero, and Costco. I’m sure there are several others, but without looking it up on the net, these are the ones that come to mind. Using non top tier gas may cause deposits on valves and dirty fuel injectors, which are expensive to have cleaned or replaced.

  26. D. E. Faro I just check the 2017 list.There are some new ones too. Sunoco isn’t there yet until April on all their gas just some. if you click the link you will all the new ones that might not have been on the list when you looked. This is an updated 2017 list and Marathon gas is indeed listed which was at least part of Speedway family..lots of changes. Hess is not listed but a great gasoline too not sure which one Speedway will use Hess is just doing refining now I gather.. Anyway just so you know. I wanted to check after you said it wasn’t on the list and Deanna Leroux said they had just announced in February they were on the list now and sure enough if you care to look this again is an updated list. You might not have seen one before March 2017.
    Sometimes it takes a month for the list to be updated. Just FYI. There are a lot of them on there now that were not one there before.

  27. The most important thing i picked up from this blog is this……go to the gas stations that sell high volume like speedway (has enough of an additive) because the real damage comes from station tanks that are allowed to get too low because they sell less gas and there is condensation and slop in the bottom!! The worst for your car! My husband works for a large city transit authority and he has always said dont fill up when they are filling the tanks because the sludge from the bottom gets stirred up and then your vehicle doesn’t run well. That leads me to believe that is the most important issue when buying gas. I will continue to buy Speedway for the value and quality. Sounds like if you use BP too much it can eat away at some things, because of the additive. Thanks for all the tips and confirming what my husband has always said.

  28. I have decided to stop buying Speedway Gas (and various other’s). There was a report recently by AAA about the Top Tier gas program. A group of car manufacturers decided the federal gas requirements were not a high enough standard and created this quality standard. AAA did testing on gas to determine if Top Tier was worth it. They found that cars fueled with Top Tier standard gas had significantly fewer deposits and as a result, fewer engine performance problems. I found the report quite convincing. They also found that prices were not that different. I’m going to print out a list of the brands that are Top Tier and only use them.

  29. Recently, I stopped using Speedway gas since I now use Kwik Fill which is a top tier American gas and I get 4-6 miles per gallon better than Speedway, and not paying any more for 87 octane!

  30. Speedway Gas is a low detergent gasoline, unlike Exxon, Mobil, Shell and BP which are all Top Tier rated gas.

  31. We just got Speedy in our little town of Sonora
    Ca. I was a bit leary at first to use their gas, but deceided to try it. We have had no problems at all! I’m very impressed with the employees, so very friendly & willing to help, so unlike most other gas stations. I hope it is top tier gas, some people say yes & some say no- who do you believe! Anyhow, I am saving money & when you’er on social security, every penny counts! Thankyou Speedy!

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