Predator Skater Runs 176 MPH to Win GPS Outlaw Shootout

Less than two months after winning the King of the Desert award (read the story) at the Desert Storm Poker Run, Arizona performance boater Gary Smith earned top honors Friday at the GPS Outlaw Shootout portion of the Texas Outlaw Challenge with a 176-mph top speed.

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Driving Predator, a 40-foot Skater with twin 1,700-hp engines, Gary Smith and Vern Gilbert make a pass during the Texas Outlaw Challenge GPS Outlaw Shootout on Galveston Bay. Photo by Jay Nichols/Naples Image

Smith, along with Vern Gilbert of West Coast Drives in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., ran his original Predator—a 1991 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran—to the fastest speed along the one-mile course on Galveston Bay. The top speed was faster than the one Smith ran on Lake Havasu in late April when he reached 170 mph in his second Predator, a 40-foot Skater with twin 1,700-hp Larry’s Engine and Marine power plants.

Smith, who wasn’t running in the poker run today but was planning to enjoy the festivities, said the conditions yesterday were a little unpredictable to run much faster in the 40-footer, which features twin Carson Brummett engines making 1,700 hp each, Mercury Racing No. 6 drives and a set of forged Hering propellers.

Last year’s winner with a 170-mph top speed, Kenny Mungle decided not to run Gone Again, his 32-foot Skater with Sterling Performance engines, after finding a small valve train issue on Thursday.

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