Back in the early 1970s, when George Allen coached the Washington Redskins, he had a slogan, "The future is now". NASCAR could resurrect that slogan this year, as we're going to get a really good look at the future in the Sprint Cup Series this year.

The rookie class in Cup is the most promising its' been in years. Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson should battle for Rookie of the Year, as they're in the best equipment. But, it will also be interesting to see how well Justin Allgaier, Ryan Truex, Alex Bowman, Parker Kligerman, Michael Annett and Cole Whitt perform in their cars. All have shown some flashes of potential in the Nationwide series; now we'll see if they can stand out in, frankly, middle-of-the-road equipment.

Anytime a few of the sport's stars hit the big 4-0, folks start asking who will fill their shoes. Guys like Brad Keselowski slide in and become one of the answers. But, to have a class like this all hit at once is highly unusual.

The fact is that some will exceed expectations and some will fall short and soon be forgotten. But, it's going to be fun watching as they jockey for places in the spotlight.