The flowers haven't started blooming yet, but, throughout Daytona, there is optimism in the air.

It's the start of the year; a time for new beginnings; everyone gets to hit the reset button and pull even with the pack.

There are probably 30 drivers who, honestly, believe they will be contending for a championship.  And, just as many crew chiefs who are convinced they've put together the ideal team.

Joe Gibbs is convinced he'll be collecting his second straight title in December in Las Vegas; while Rick Hendrick and Roger Penske are just as confident that he won't be.

Even NASCAR is optimistic…that the new rules package will produce the best, most riveting racing we've every seen.

It is a time to look at the world through rose-colored glasses.  Enjoy.  Because, odds are that within two months, someone will have ripped them off, thrown them down and stomped on them.