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Shelby gas stations battle over cheap prices at the pump

SHELBY, NC (WBTV) – A gas price war in one Cleveland County city has been heating up for months, and it’s not the kind of fuel fight you might think.

Instead, it’s driving more traffic into the area and helping drivers who have struggled to pump a full tank of gas for much of this year.

As you drive the 74 Bypass through Shelby, you notice an unfamiliar sight.

Each day, a battle is staged in Shelby at the intersection of East Dixon Boulevard and South Ports Road.

It’s the battle for low gas prices that is forcing people to drive 10 and 20 miles to save a few cents.

“This is why we come here to get gas,” said Marion Crawford of Cherryville. “It’s just a war, it’s a war over gas.”

Linda Pope of Kings Mountain works in the area but makes sure she gets gas in Shelby.

“I love it,” Pope said. “I live in Kings Mountain, but I don’t mind being in Shelby for gas because Kings Mountain is the highest place here to get gas.”

As of Friday afternoon, Valero had gas at $3.34 per gallon, Murphy Express at $3.39 per gallon, prices customers say you won’t find anywhere else.

“It’s kind of funny, we’ve come a long way from when we used to pay $4 per gallon,” Austin Bailey said.

Related: Charlotte gas prices average less than $4 a gallon

“It’s a line here and there’s not one there, I don’t think I’ve yet realized that people actually started falling lower than this, I certainly haven’t and I see it every day,” Diane Labatt said.

Both stations tell WBTV that this price war has been going on for two to three months, sometimes supporting congestion at the pump.

“It’s constantly like this, maybe third shift slows down a little bit, but all day long, 16, 18 hours a day,” said Caden Nontel, a cashier at the Valero Express Stop.

Drivers say they don’t mind waiting a few minutes while saving between 50 and 60 cents per gallon.

“Am I late from lunch before because I’m stuck here?” Labat asked. “Yes! Is that right? Yes! As long as they do that, I’ll keep coming, I think they should all compete.”

King Leon, who is visiting his family in Charlotte, also liked the cheap prices.

“It takes a silly bidding war across the street, hey, fine by me, I’m totally cool with that,” he said.

Valero’s managers said that this war between prices is a competition in the market and both stations are the lowest in the region.

Customers will be happy that they are saving some money on filling up their cars.

Related: Krispy Kreme’s cost of a dozen donuts is comparable to the average US gas price

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