My marshaling rig has turned into quite a road trip machine lately, with several trips Upstate New York to Watkins Glen and my most recent trip to marshal at Thompson Speedway via the Connecticut coastline. Not only did I enjoy the foodie tour of New England I got great gas mileage doing it. That’s going to be the surprise takeaway from this experience. From the 450 mile trip I only stopped to get a splash of gas somewhere deep in Connecticut while on the hunt for a BP gas station (Public Service Announcement: there are no more BP stations in the state of Connecticut! – sure as hell wish I would have known that before wasting a good half an hour of my time on this search… this must be one of those deals like we had in NJ where all Mobil stations were converted to Lukoil, or the current HESS stations being converted to 76, damn you high level corporate branding deals)
The reason I was searching for a BP gas station is because I had accumulated quite a collection of used BP cards with a $3+/- balance from using them here in New Jersey. We don’t pump our own gas in NJ, so every time I fill up using a BP card there’s a chance that there will be a leftover amount on the card. And it’s a bit embarrassing asking the attendant to use three or four different cards in order to use them up and fill the tank. Long story short, I found a BP station on the way to Thompson from Jessie’s house early Friday morning, happy to see the lights on when the rest of Worcester, MA was still waking up. But as I pulled in it was obvious that they were still closed. And so I postponed getting fuel until after the day at the track. Trying to find a BP in Connecticut was like a treasure hunt. The first one right off of i395 exit turned out to be re-branded to a Gulf station. I should have given up at that point, but NOPE! I continued to search for another one closer to Norwich, CT… that took me about 15 miles off the interstate and again, while the gas station looked like it once was a BP station, now it clearly wasn’t… as all the BP branding was pulled off. Since the low fuel light was already on by the time I got there, I pulled into the nearby Mobil station and started crunching numbers to see how much I’d need to get home. My math said 4 gallons, I put 3 instead and to my amazement I actually made it. Although the low fuel light came on somewhere in Westchester while passing White Plains before the Tappan Zee Bridge. I went into fuel save mode (real world Formula One reference for you there) and got to my regular BP station nearest to my house about 30 miles away. It was pretty late in the evening, so I decided to break the law and get the attendant in trouble by pumping my own gas. It was like a ritual using three different cards, lol
Why BP and not some Joe Schmoe gas station? Because I bought a bunch of BP gift cards on eBay with a 10% discount that are good to be used for CASH price instead of the higher Credit Card price at the pump. Why Mobil and not Joe Schmoe in Connecticut, because I trust brand name stations more than I do the off-brand names.
And the fuel hunt story was about the most interesting thing that happened on the whole 450 mile drive. The car performed flawlessly. I managed to avoid most of the traffic spots by actually following Waze. I had an amazing time doing the lobster roll / New England foodie tour. Had a blast chasing Jessie around in her 2009 Miata at Thompson, CT and I very much look forward to another long road trip this summer. What a surprisingly good car for road trips this MX-5 is.
Oh btw… the best roads going up to New England are smaller highways like Merritt Parkway, perfectly smooth surface all the way. The Interstates I took, including i95, i395, and i91 turned out to be really shitty with all the massive pot holes and other road imperfections caused by trucks and other heavy vehicles. I found myself diving into quite a few craters and other unavoidable pot holes that made me cringe. I hate that shit! At this pace I think I’ll be doing suspension work on the car soon. Note to self: take alternate routes even if they are slightly more out of the way to avoid damage.
13.06 gallons used, 450 miles traveled = 34.5 MPG mostly highway with the few detours for the lobster rolls and around the circuit. Total spent on fuel $38.78 with average price per gallon under $3 thanks to the fill ups in NJ. The cheapest gas $2.87 in NJ and priciest $3.25 for 93 octane premium fuel in Connecticut.