For GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing owner Robert W. “Bob” Stallings, operating a championship-winning professional sports car team is just his latest achievement in a long line of success stories in the business world and beyond. He joined Alex Gurney as the original drivers of the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” in the team’s first year of major sports car racing competition in 2005 and 2006.
Stallings currently serves as Chairman and President of Stallings Capital Group, Inc., a Dallas-based merchant banking firm specializing in the financial services industry. He is also Executive Chairman of team sponsor GAINSCO Inc., a property and casualty insurance holding company that specializes in auto insurance. Additionally, Stallings serves as a director of Texas Capital Bank and previously was a director of Crescent Realty prior to its sale to Morgan Stanley in 2007. He also co-founded and managed the Pilgrim Capital Group, a $20 billion investment fund, before selling the firm to ING. A more recent venture is BobStallingsCars.com, an Internet-based business specializing in pre-owned family, luxury and specialty vehicles.
While Stallings has found gratifying success in his various business endeavors, it was a certificate for the Bob Bondurant Racing School that he received as a birthday gift from his wife Linda that unlocked another passion. Stallings was instantly hooked on competitive driving and just three years later won the pinnacle of amateur racing in this country, the SCCA Runoffs, as a National Champion in the Formula Atlantic division. His driving coach at the time was Alex Gurney, and in 2005 the duo entered Daytona Prototype competition in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with the debuting GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team. Stallings drove in a total of 11 races in the 2005 and 2006 seasons and joined Gurney in scoring GAINSCO’s first top-three podium finish at Watkins Glen in August of 2005 where they finished second in just the team’s fourth race.
Despite that career-best result and other encouraging showings, Stallings soon realized that if his racing team was going to reach its championship potential, he must replace himself with a driver comparable in talent to Gurney. Stallings stepped out of the cockpit two races into the 2006 season, and after Jimmy Vasser (Homestead-Miami) and Rocky Moran Jr. (Long Beach) each drove a race with Gurney, Stallings signed Jon Fogarty as his fulltime replacement in April 2006. The selfless decision was one of several key strategy moves made by Stallings that created the winning foundation for GAINSCO/Bobs Stallings Racing’s GRAND-AM Rolex Series Championships in 2007 and 2009.
With Gurney and Fogarty behind the wheel, Stallings shifted his focus to working with the team on race weekend strategies and winning season championships. With seven wins, 10 poles and numerous qualifying and race lap records, GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing’s 2007 championship season remains one of the most successful years of competition on record in Rolex Series Daytona Prototype history.
Stallings and the GAINSCO team backed up the stellar 2007 season with a championship runner-up showing the following year before the taking the team’s second set of GRAND-AM Rolex Series Championships in three years in 2009. GAINSCO finished third in the team standings in 2010 and 2011, worked through a development season with the new Corvette Daytona Prototype in 2012, and returned to championship contention in 2013. The team won its Texas “home race” in the inaugural sports car event at Circuit of The Americas early in the year and battled all season for the championship, eventually placing third in both the 2013 team and driver standings.
Stallings is a native of Malden, Missouri, the father of three daughters and the grandfather of seven, including triplet boys who turn eight in 2014. He and Linda Stallings, who manages the racing team’s marketing and sales efforts, live in Frisco, Texas, and the couple is very active in The Stallings Foundation, founded in 2000.