The saloon doors swung open, and standing in the entrance, guns drawn, was a familiar-looking character dressed in not-so-familiar cowboy garb.

“Hold your horses, boys, that money goes to the fastest draw,” says Dale Earnhardt Jr., looking more like Clint Eastwood with his duster, boots and six-shooters than a Sprint Cup driver.

Welcome to Whisky River, Earnhardt’s backyard Western town, as NASCAR’s most popular driver shoots a commercial promoting the All-Star Race in May.

This playland that includes a saloon, jail, bank and general store a few hundred yards from the back door of Earnhardt’s house used to be off-limits to the media. But over the past few years, as he’s gotten comfortable letting the general public into his personal life, he’s opened it up here.