RaceTrac's 'Pilot' Prepares to Land

Company president Lenker retiring after 40-year career with c-store chain

Max Lenker RaceTrac (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

Max Lenker

ATLANTA -- In what it called a "bittersweet" announcement, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. said that after more than 40 years of service to the company, Max Lenker has decided to retire from his position as president effective Dec. 31, 2014.

Lenker has been "one of the most instrumental individuals in RaceTrac's growth" since he joined the convenience store chain in 1974, the company said.

After a military career as both a helicopter and airplane pilot in the Army and Air Force during the Vietnam War, Lenker began his tenure at RaceTrac as the company pilot.

"He demonstrated early his interest in RaceTrac; and through his boundless curiosity, he showed his keen eye and intuitive talent for business," said the company.

When he started what became RaceTrac's real-estate department, RaceTrac's company-operated store count was about 20 stores with annual sales of $35.6 million.

Lenker has served in many roles over four decades. When the company was much smaller, he simultaneously handled real-estate acquisition and merchandise and gasoline purchasing. Later, he served as vice president of purchasing and executive vice president. He became president of RaceTrac in 1986. Due in large measure to his dedication and business savvy, RaceTrac's store count currently stands at 372 with sales of $8.8 billion in 2013. 

Chairman Carl Bolch Jr., had this to say about Lenker: "He has been an ideal partner for me over the last 40 years. Max is my close friend and trusted confidante. Without the leadership and considerable contribution of Max's talent, RaceTrac would not be the fine company that it has become today." 

The company added, "We congratulate Max on his 40th anniversary and subsequent retirement and are delighted that RaceTrac will continue to benefit from his knowledge as he remains on the board of directors. We know that his next chapter of life will be as exciting and rewarding as the chapter that has preceded it."

Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum operates more than 365 RaceTrac and licenses more than 300 Raceway locations in several states.

Part of CSP's 2014 Convenience Top 101 retailers