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USA TODAY Sports’ Brant James previews the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway.
USA TODAY Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Billy the Kid? Maybe.

Earnhardt Jr. has said that he might compete occasionally in Late Model racing after his retirement from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the end of this season. If so, he said, he’d likely show up unannounced and “sneak into the track under the radar.”

So would he sign in under an assumed name?

“Maybe William Bonney,” Earnhardt said. “That’s what I’ve used at hotels.”

Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid, was one of the most famous gunslingers in the Old West.

“I don’t want to make it sound like I have plans to do this,” Earnhardt said. “I have a wife at home who’s part of his discussion, if it happens.”

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Earnhardt has eight races remaining in his final season in Cup. He has not won this season and did not qualify for the playoffs.

Dover International Speedway, host of Sunday’s Cup race, presented Earnhardt a unique retirement gift Friday — a trophy honoring the driver’s Sept. 23, 2001 Dover win that closely followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

After the win, Earnhardt circled the track with a large U.S. flag flying from his car.

The award was inscribed: “One race united an entire nation on Sept. 23, 2001”.

“Anybody would have done the same thing — something to express…