Next week, NASCAR Sprint Cup teams get back to work on the track in preparation for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500.
Every season brings a new set of questions, a new set of controversies and changes that alter the sport in some way.
This season is no different.
There are rule changes, design changes on the cars and a group of drivers that seem like they could be poised to make a run at the remarkable success of the No. 48 team and Jimmie Johnson.
Here's a look at 20 things fans have to look forward to as the season fast approaches for NASCAR's top touring divisions.
After last year's pothole debacle at the Daytona 500, the track committed itself to a facelift for the start of the 2011 season.
A handful of Sprint Cup teams got a chance to test tire compounds for Goodyear on the new surface back in December, and the surface performed as advertised.
The new pavement should provide more grip and enable drivers to maintain the handling on the car throughout the fuel run, making for more breathtaking racing.
The look of the Car of Tomorrow has been a source of consternation for many fans, and the car's modifications continue for 2011.
The wing was replaced with the traditional blade spoiler in 2010, and this year the splitter and braces on the nose of the car are being replaced with a more traditional look.
Early reports are that this new nose doesn't change the handling on the car much, at least for Daytona, and this new look may represent a move back to a more traditional look for the Sprint Cup Car.
The Car of Tomorrow made its debut in the Nationwide Series in July of 2010, and it goes into full time service in 2011.
One of the ongoing complaints of fans was that NASCAR race cars had ceased to look like their production cousins, and the Nationwide CoT is a move back in that direction.
The Ford camp will even be racing a Mustang on NASCAR's junior circuit.
Expect this new car to bring better racing than the "twisted sister" design, and for it to create a renewed interest in the Nationwide Series as this new look car is coupled with more changes in the Nationwide Series.
Brad Keselowski won the Nationwide Championship while running full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2010.
That all changes this season.
There's a check box on their eligibility forms for 2011 where they must declare which championship among NASCAR's touring divisions for which they intend to compete.
There is no "all of the above" selection available.
The intent is to prevent full time Cup drivers from accumulating points in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
The drivers can still run the races, and since points won't be an issue for Buschwackers anymore, expect the young guys to be running harder for points and the Cup invaders to be running harder for wins.
As Iceman said in the movie Top Gun, there are no points for second place. But actually, there are no points for first either anymore.
In an attempt to make the racing more exciting at the AutoClub speedway in Fontana, track president Gillian Zucker announced this week that the spring race there will drop from 500 to 400 miles.
The move was made last year for the fall event and received rave reviews for the action.
By dropping 100 miles off of the promoted distance, the teams will have less time to knock down laps and wait for the end of the event to move to the front.
Now, the racing should be more interesting from the drop of the green flag.
Extreme motorsports darling Travis Pastrana makes his NASCAR debut in 2011 in a car fielded as a partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing.
He's the latest in a long list of drivers from varying disciplines to try their hand at America's most popular form of motorsports.
He's built his resume on motorcycles and in drift and rally cars, and now he moves to the high banks for the next chapter of his highly decorated career.
Unrealistic expectations from some of her fans, coupled with nearly predictable results in 2010, made for an interesting rookie campaign for Danica Patrick.
Patrick now has more time in the cars than she did when she slid into the cockpit last February, and that should translate into better performances.
The clock is ticking on the experiment, and her performance this year could go a long way toward determining whether she has a future in a stock car or will leave the sport to continue her IndyCar efforts.
The 2010 signing of Kasey Kahne to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season may leave no room at the inn for Mark Martin as 2011 gets underway.
The cap on cars fielded by one owner may leave Mark Martin without a ride for 2012, so this could be a decision year for Martin.
He could move to another operation, choose to retire or Hendrick might find some way to move him to a new home when Kahne comes on board at the end of the season.
Silly Season seems to come earlier and earlier this year, and Mark Martin may be the catalyst for this year's moves much the same way the Kahne announcement set off a chain reaction in 2010.
The offseason moves at Hendrick Motorsports move Dale Earnhardt Jr. to a new team for 2011.
Earnhardt and stablemates Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin all move to new operations for this season designed to improve the performance of the teams that aren't Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.
To the consternation of his fans, Jr. has struggled the past couple of years at HMS, and this may be his best shot yet at returning to his form of a few years ago.
The addition of Steve Letarte as crew chief may be the shot in the arm Earnhardt needs to revitalize his career and the NASCAR fanbase.
Jimmie Johnson has enjoyed a staggering run over the last five years with his championships, and he could be poised to continue his run.
The Lowe's Chevy is supported by some of the best people in the business, and there's no reason to think he won't contend for another title in 2011.
There are some variables thrown into the mix for this season, and his path was as difficult as ever in 2010.
This season could be his most stern test yet.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup could be undergoing another overhaul prior to the start of Speedweeks at Daytona.
There are a number of ideas being thrown out, including another expansion of the Chase field to 15 teams, and some sort of elimination format that trims the group of contenders down as the last ten races march on.
While this move may create more excitement as the season winds down, some invariably will argue that the system is manufactured.
It may be just enough suspense to see what NASCAR throws at its playoff format over the next few weeks.
Carl Edwards and his Roush Racing teammates struggled through the first half of 2010, but ended strong.
Carl Edwards finished the season with back to back wins at Phoenix and Homestead and served notice that he will be returning to championship contention in 2011.
The team found the horsepower from the FR9 engine package and all of the Roush cars seem to run well at the tracks featured near the end of the season.
Edwards could be carrying the banner for the Ford camp as the season comes to a close at Homestead.
It's been a long hard battle, but the Kentucky Speedway finally appears on the Sprint Cup schedule for 2011.
The track has hosted the trucks, Nationwide Series and IndyCars since it was built, and now it competes the cycle by hosting a Cup race.
The struggle has been interesting, marred by a lawsuit and a shuffle on the schedule to make room for the track, but it's finally happened.
Kentucky represents the last of the track boom facilities of the 1990's aiming to get a Cup date to finally make its way onto the schedule.
There was a time a few months ago when a lot of people wondered if Brian Vickers would ever make his way back to the cockpit of a race car.
It looks like his promised return was as advertised.
Vickers has already been testing in anticipation of his return at Speedweeks, and he'll be benefited by the addition of one-year teammate Kasey Kahne.
Kevin Harvick has managed to recapture the restrictor plate magic of Richard Childress Racing.
With two wins and two more stellar performances, Harvick is developing a reputation as one of the most skilled restrictor plate drivers currently in the Sprint Cup Series.
The horsepower provided by engines built in concert with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has made beating the RCR cars and their Ganassi cousins a daunting task.
Harvick immediately comes to mind as a favorite to win the Daytona 500, and his improvement across the board makes him a serious contender for the Sprint Cup Championship just as he was in 2010.
Kyle Busch has proven to be one of the most gifted race car drivers of this era, and he has championships to back it up.
He hasn't been able to translate it to the next logical step in the Sprint Cup Series.
Busch is showing more maturity with each passing season, and this could be the year he makes the big step to serious contender for the title all the way to Homestead.
The 2010 performance of teammate Denny Hamlin shows that the equipment is there, and Busch just needs to find it mentally to stick around for 36 races.
Busch's knack for streaky performance could make him a headline grabbing superstar if he can minimize the bad days by staying in races where winning isn't possible.
Kurt Busch is one of several drivers who will be supported by new sponsors.
Busch takes Shell/Pennzoil, Kevin Harvick takes Budweiser, Brad Keselowski inherits the Miller Lite deal and Jeff Gordon will be sponsored by Drive 4 Hunger.
New sponsors don't mean anything in terms of tangible changes to the performance of the car, but often it can be a revitalizing moment for the guy behind the wheel.
Busch has struggled to remain relevant in the Chase, and he needs something to re-energize him. Like other drivers in the new sponsor boat, he could see greener pastures with a new paint scheme.
With A.J. Allmendinger returning to the fold for 2011, Richard Petty Motorsports could see continued improvement as the season progresses.
The team was in serious jeopardy in 2010 as the Kasey Kahne move and funding questions produced a lot of drama for this group in the second half of the year.
On the track though, Allmendinger proved to be among the best in the field at times.
Downsizing at this operation and momentum from 2010 should help them to continue to improve and give fans who still have a nostalgia for Richard Petty something to cheer about. The No. 43 car in victory lane would be a popular win in many circles in the sport.
Elliott Sadler is easily one of the most charismatic guys in the garage area today. The contraction at Richard Petty Motorsports may have opened up a golden opportunity for him at Kevin Harvick Incorporated.
He'll drive full time in some of the best equipment in the Nationwide Series and with news of the changes to prevent Buschwacking, Sadler becomes a favorite to win the Nationwide Championship.
Success brings higher visibility, and the sport seems to be in need of the genuine personality he brings to the garage area.
Sadler's success this season could be one of the top headlines on NASCAR's junior circuit.
One of the ongoing problems for NASCAR has been attracting younger audiences.
For the exception of prodigies like Joey Logano, the sport hasn't had many high profile young drivers.
Part of that problem is they've been shuffled to the bottom of the pile in the Nationwide Series while more experienced drivers have stolen the spotlight.
The new cars and the lack of Cup drivers running for the championship could bring a new class of younger talent into the NASCAR discussion, and create a forum for them to better showcase their talent.
The youth movement may be the most important move NASCAR makes to ensure the continued health of the sport.