It's finally time to fire up engines and get some cars on the track.  Homestead seems like ages ago.

And, with the start of each season comes lots of optimism.  No one has blown an engine or wrecked or missed a shift or dropped a lug nut yet.  Just about everyone sees themselves as a championship contender.

I'm looking forward to seeing if Martin Truex, Jr. can come anywhere close to the kind of domination he had a year ago.  I'm betting he won't be racking up the stage points and wins at the start of the season like he and Cole Pearn did a year ago when they snookered the field…figuring out the new system earlier than anyone else.

It's going to be interesting to see if the Chevy teams struggle with the new Camaro as long as the Gibbs teams did with their new Toyotas last year.  Will the new Hawkeye inspection system get everyone out in time to qualify this year?  And, which of the talented young guns will rise to the top first?

Finally, I'm going to be keeping a real close eye on the pit crews the first few weeks.  How are they managing with one fewer over-the-wall guy?  And, who figures out the fastest "new norm" first?

Yep, it's a new year.  And, we're finally about to get some answers.