The Virginia International Raceway in Alton has seen speeding cars tearing around its track for more than 50 years, but this past weekend, there were pistols, rifles, and shotguns roaring instead of engines as VIR hosted its first ever sport-shooting competition.

More than 250 competitors met at the track for the 3-Gun Nation Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship on June 27 and 28, including not just shooters from across the U.S., but a healthy number of local 3-gunners, who were especially grateful to have such a competition held so close to home, according to

“When you’re done shooting, the biggest problem is you have to go to a hotel, find a place to eat. Today, when I’m done, I know I get to go home and sleep in my own bed,” Danville resident Phil Strader told Strader has been traveling the country as a competitive shooter for over 20 years.

VIR’s shooting range has been used for government training for over a decade, but never for public shooting competitions. It boasts seven individual shooting facilities as well as a thousand-yard range. A versatile facility was necessary for the championship match, which includes eight unique courses.

When the totals were in, Zachary Szczepkowski and Ben Hayes tied for first with 100 points each, followed by Garrett Howell in third with 98.22 points and Ryan Reed at number four with 96.25 points.

Next up is the Eastern Regional Championship on Aug. 1 and 2 in Beckley, West Virginia. Go here for a full schedule of regional competitions.