PUMPS BACK ON IN RED BANK

gas-station1The former Raceway gas station on Riverside Avenue is back in business under another name. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Seems so long ago — at least in terms of soaring fuel costs — that the Raceway gas station at the north end of Red Bank pulled its pumps and shut down.

But that was only last December, when gas, you could say, was cheap: somewhere just below the $3 a gallon mark.

Now, five months and about 75 cents a gallon to the upside later, the longtime filling station is ready to get its nozzle back in your tank.

The station’s owner, James Gambacorto, tells redbankgreen that a new company, Spirit Gasoline, officially took over the station and reopened for business Monday.

The move is so fresh that the company hasn’t staffed the station, leaving Gambacorto to pump the gas. While Spirit signs should be in soon, Gambacorto has crafted a hand-written ‘open’ sign and taped it to one of the pumps.

“I’m very happy,” Gambacorto said. “All the customers are very happy to see it reopened.”

Raceway left the Red Bank spot back after a “brutal” legal dispute with Gambacorto, who wouldn’t elaborate on the details.

No matter, he said, since it’s settled and a new company has signed a lease for the space.

And as though to erase a bitter memory, Gambacorto said he’ll be taking a paint brush to the station’s two-tone service garage.

“We plan to get this ugly blue color off, too,” he said.