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Speedway SuperAmerica



"Superamerica" also refers to the 575 Superamerica, a berlinetta version of the Ferrari 575M Maranello.

Speedway SuperAmerica LLC is a brand name of a chain of combination gas stations and convenience stores in the Midwestern United States of America. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Marathon Petroleum Company.

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Contents

History

Speedway

Though it has only been in recent years that the Speedway brand has enjoyed popularity, the name has been around for almost as long as the automobile itself.

Speedway 79 was a gasoline chain based in Michigan for much of the first half of the 20th century. In 1959, The Ohio Oil Company (now Marathon) purchased the chain and promptly converted them to the Marathon brand. It was during this time that Marathon was on an unwise spending spree of buying out rival chains. This would catch up to them by the 1970s' oil crisis, with many companies (most notably Mobil, which was thriving from excess cash as a result of the oil crisis) wanting to purchase Marathon.

While this was going on, Marathon decided to revive the Speedway name (without the "79") at higher-volume stations with convenience stores. The concept turned out to be one of the few bright spots for Marathon during this time, and quickly expanded this concept across Marathon's main territories across the Midwest and southeastern United States. Part of this expansion was through the acquisition of various other smaller regional gasoline station chains, including Starvin' Marvin's, Gastown, Wake Up, and others.

SuperAmerica

SuperAmerica was the brand name for a chain of convenience stores for Northwestern Refining of St. Paul, Minnesota, when Ashland Petroleum purchased Northwestern Refining in 1970, in effect acquiring the SuperAmerica brand.

Much like what Marathon did with Speedway, Ashland used the SuperAmerica brand for its high-volume locations with convenience stores.

During commercials of the 1960s and 1970s, the company's jingle was "Su-per-amer-i-ca, Fill'er up, tank or truck."

Formation of Speedway SuperAmerica

In 1997, Marathon and Ashland agreed to merge their refining assets to form Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, with Marathon owning 62% of the operations while Ashland owned 38%. In the process, the two companies' convenience store chains were merged together to form Speedway SuperAmerica LLC.

When the formation of Marathon Ashland Petroleum was completed in 1998, the Speedway and SuperAmerica brands began to market together. During commercials of the 1990s, the company's jingle was, "The convenient products of Speedway", while showing images of the various brands marketed under the "Speedway" name.

Today

Today, Speedway SuperAmerica is headquartered in Enon, Ohio. The chain is still prominent in the Midwest, but pulled out of the Southeast in 2003 by either converting them to Marathon and selling them to franchisees or selling them outright to Sunoco.

The stores are very similar, with the only significant difference being the name. Of the two brands, Speedway is by far the more prominent one used. Marathon uses the Speedway brand in West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin. With a few exceptions in Kentucky and Wisconsin, the SuperAmerica name has been relegated to Minnesota. If it weren't for SuperAmerica's popularity in Minnesota, Marathon would likely have converted the entire chain to the Speedway name after Marathon purchased Ashland's share in Marathon Ashland Petroleum in 2004.

Speedway SuperAmerica's main rivals include BP, Circle K, Casey's General Stores, Kum & Go, and surviving Stuckey's locations. Sheetz may also become a main rival to the company in the near future, as the two are already directly competing in West Virginia and eastern Ohio as Sheetz continues to expand.

While all Marathon locations are franchises, most of the Speedway and SuperAmerica are owned and operated by Marathon Petroleum Company. Speedway SuperAmerica is currently at a mix of 96% company owned and operated, while 4% of stores are individually owned and operated as franchise locations. Most franchise locations are owned by franchisees with 10-15 stores each.

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Speedway_SuperAmerica". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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