RaceTrac Inc. – A Roundabout Atlanta Partner
An opportunity has come around for us to introduce yet another one of our partners. At Roundabout Atlanta we are proud to be a part of a wide network of innovative businesses and support those that have contributed positively to our community. Today, we feature RaceTrac Inc., an American corporation that operates a chain of gasoline service stations across the southeastern United States. Learn about how this billion dollar business got started, the bosses behind it and their current success.
RaceTrac is one of Georgia’s largest private companies (third to be exact), with a 9.6-billion-dollar revenue to date. While the RaceTrac branches are company-operated, another branch of the original RaceTrac corporation is RaceWay, which consists of contractor-operated full-service stores. Between them, RaceTrac and RaceWay currently have over 750 retail gasoline stations operating in 12 southeastern states. RaceWay locations generally have 20 to 24 fueling stations and a 5000+ square foot convenience store, with over 4000 items. In 2012, locations expanded and a new store design consisted in a 6000 square foot area for the convenience store, with the addition of free wifi internet, a Swirl World frozen yogurt counter and indoor and outdoor seating areas.
The company’s founder, Carl Bolch Sr. opened his first gas stations in 1934 in St. Louis, Missouri, under the name Carl Bolch Trackside Stations. His intention was to be independent of major oil companies which allowed him to offer much lower prices to the customers of his gas stations. After two decades of smooth business in Missouri, he relocated to the city of Opp in Alabama where he acquired the Oil Well Company. The company consisted of several independent outlets across rural areas of the state. In 1967, Carl Bolch Jr. succeeded his father as chief executive and made the decision to offer self-serve gasoline at the pumps.
The concept of self-serve gas stations was somewhat unheard of in those days and Carl was warned by many that he would lose money as “people would just pump gas and drive off without paying”, but the opposite happened. According to Carl, not only did they not lose money, it was the best business decision he ever made. People would pump gas and go inside to pay, and would buy other items while inside. After pioneering the industry of self-service gasoline stations in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, the headquarters relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 1976. Just 3 years later, in 1979, the new RaceTrac brand name was introduced, and the contractor-operated locations became RaceWay.
Recognitions Over The Years
Over the years, the RaceTrac corporation has been the recipient of some prestigious industry recognitions, as well as consistently ranking in Forbes magazine’s list of “largest private companies” between the years of 2009 to 2013. In 2009 and again in 2012, Convenience Store News gave CEO and chairman of RaceTrac, Carl Bolch Jr, the title of Retailer of the Year, for “pioneering forecourt retailing in the Southeast and making an indelible mark on the convenience industry overall”.
RaceTrac has also been recognized in some states as being one of the top places to work, so named specifically by Dallas Business Journal in 2009 and 2010, and in 2012 by South Florida Business Journal.
Over the years RaceTrac Incorporation has continued to grow and is recognized today as a great innovator and pioneer of gasoline service stations across the Southern United States. At Roundabout Atlanta we are proud to have RaceTrac as one of our community partners.