BYRAM, Conn. (May 5, 2020) – Making its way off pit-road and out onto the track, chckrd, the subscription-based, racing-only social app is active and available in the Android and Apple Marketplaces. A brand-new way for the racing community to interact digitally, chckrd delivers a social media platform where users’ interests are common and the exchange of information is consistent; racing.
Designed with an interface that reflects other popular social media platforms, chckrd members share a common wall space called the “Straightaway” where all posts line up. Users also select groups designated to their specific competitive interests. From Formula1 to Dirt to Karting to Motocross to Lawn Tractor, all racing disciplines are welcomed and encouraged to join and interact.
With the chckrd community growing, its fitting to take a step behind the scenes and learn more about the individual who dedicated the time and effort to bring the chckrd concept to life, Chris Muller.
Q) First off, who is Chris Muller? Where are you from?
I grew up in the blue-collar section of a very white-collar town. I’m proud to say that I’m from Bryam, Connecticut. Byram is in the western section of Greenwich, CT. My grandfather started a water well business in 1938. My whole family worked for the company so I spent my summer vacations carrying wrenches and working hard. Working for and going to school with some of the wealthiest families in the world gave me a great perspective on how to treat people. You can learn as much from what not to do as much as you can from what you should do. I found that everything evens out through sports so I made a lot of friends playing hockey and other sports. I was the first in my family to go to college where I thought I’d become a filmmaker. After graduation I got married and had two amazing daughters.
Q) How did you get into racing?
Back in the late 90s my best friend built a street stock car, went to the Brett Hearn Race School, and ran at Orange County Fairgrounds Speedway in Middletown, NY. I went and helped on the weekends and was floored by the size and spectacle of it all. Cut to 2012, some people in Hollywood asked me to write some original content for a new country music channel they were starting. I thought dirt track racing would provide solid storylines. So, I spent pretty much the entire summer of 2012 in the pits of Orange County, Accord and other tracks getting to know the people of racing and I fell in love with them. The passion they had for a sport that broke their hearts and took their money was awesome. The other personality trait I admired was how helpful everyone was. Like when someone puts another racer in the wall during a qualifier, they’re the first to turn a wrench to make sure that racer makes the main. That show didn’t get picked up but I made some great connections.
Q) Any names we would recognize?
Yea, I became close with the Dippel’s. Tyler was maybe 12 and winning features. His parents Todd and Jill were really generous with their time and taught me a lot. I also got to know Anthony Perrego and his father. Lots of talent there and he was humble. Very cool guy. The Boniface’s were another family that I spent some time with. Again, great family. Both Tyler and Kenny were running then.
Q) Did you stay involved in racing?
I got caught up in my personal life but I stayed connected via Facebook. Jill Dipple and I would talk here and there. I ran into Anthony at a trade show outside of Philly once.
Q) What brought you back?
Crowdfunding became a thing, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, etc. I remembered the one thing I always heard in the pits was money, money, money. “I lose to that guy because he’s got new tires.” “I didn’t pay my rent because I needed a new driveshaft.” The thing is, racers are proud and the GoFundMes of the world were looked down upon. So, I thought, what if you made a crowdfunding platform just for racing? Something racers could crowdfund through without the stigma. I got together with some really smart tech friends and we launched PITFUND.
Q) We’ll get back to PITFUND but let’s shift gears, what is chckrd?
chckrd is a subscription-based social media app for racing that gives back to racing. chckrd is for any type of motorsport racing anywhere in the world. chckrd is an exclusive interactive community of racers, fans, teams, tracks, associations, vendors & media. There is also original & re-purposed racing related content streaming, though we plan on partnering with others to carry live racing events. Subscription proceeds grow racing via larger purses. The face of chckrd is an exclusive racing community that resembles popular social media platforms. The heart of chckrd is a creative business model that financially fuels that racing community.
Q) Where did the idea for chckrd come from?
We’ve been trying to help racing through technology for years. Back in 2015 we launched PITFUND which is essentially GoFundMe but strictly for racing. It worked pretty well and it’s still out there today but, we recognized a larger opportunity to improve the racing world. If you follow any type of racing on social media, you hear the same thing over and over again, low racer count equals low purse and low purse equals low racer count. Another major gripe is about social media in general, it’s become too noisy. Politics, cat videos, pictures of someone’s breakfast?? Not to mention data misuse and targeted ads. We feel chckrd not only solves the “catch-22” of racing by fueling purses but it also provides an oasis from the noise of big social media by providing a purely racing interaction environment.
Q) What is “The chckrd Model?”
The chckrd Model is a financial flow that improves racing overall. For just 8 cents a day, members gain access to the chckrd community while fueling a monthly purse at their designated track. This monthly purse attracts more racers. More racers pay the track more entry fees. Each racer brings on average 3-5 people per race which means more tickets and pit passes for the track. More people also means more hot dogs and cokes for the concession stand. More racers produce a better show for the fans which in turn ups recurring attendance and so on.
Q) What is the goal of chckrd?
My nirvana would be to have chckrd be the go to app for all things racing. Just as LinkedIn is the go to app for your professional life, chckrd will be that for your racing life. But, I’m driven by the fact that we have the chance to help everyone in and around racing enjoy their passion for the sport to its fullest potential.
Q) What’s your daydream for chckrd?
You mean like personally? I mean, the Silicon Valley dream is always there but, I think that will only come if you have a product the people react to and you work your ass off. So, I’m dedicated to that. What drives me romantically, is the thought of providing a purse that reaches down the line from the podium. I want the guy in his garage on a Friday night working on his 78’ Monte Carlo street stock to know he’s got a chance to bring home even a little money to keep his dream alive.
Q) Favorite racer?
I was a big Rusty Wallace fan. Saw him race Dover a couple of times. I liked that he seemed to be very intelligent but you knew he could get ornery if pushed. Lately, I like Daniel Ricardo as I’m really into F1 these days. Still not sure why he left Red Bull but… Oh, I loved Ricky Johnson back in the 90s and went to a few SuperX races in the Meadowlands.
Q) Any good racing stories?
Yea, my friend was an instructor for the Brett Farve/Dale Jarrett Racing Experience and we met him in Nazareth, PA where he was part of a session at the Andretti’s facility. He puts me in the jump seat for some hot laps. It was then that I realized just how much you get your butt kicked inside of a race car. I mean it was brutal. We get out of the car, take our helmets off, he sees my face and says “ya wanna drive now?” Absolutely not. I gained an incredible amount of respect for drivers that day.
Launched in April of 2020, chckrd was developed for the sole purpose for which it was intended, motorsports. The subscription-based app gives the motorsports community a racing specific social platform to share information pertaining to everything on wheels. After subscribing and building a profile, users have the availability to join a variety of groups specific to their racing interests. In addition, members ultimately benefit racing, as portions of their subscription is designated to increase monthly purses. chckrd is currently available in the Android and Apple Marketplaces.