Call it more than just a seven-year itch.
After six seasons of forcing competitors and fans to assimilate - and accept - the Car of Tomorrow, it was time for something new.
Enter NASCAR's new vehicle for the Sprint Cup Series - the Generation 6.
Given the resounding success of the Pony cars in the Nationwide Series, it was clear that stock car racing's top tour needed to return to its roots.
While the COT served its purpose of providing a safer car for drivers, fans wanted a sexier product on the race track that would create more side-by-side racing. Manufacturers needed to return to a stock option with deeper character lines and brand identity. And competitors desired a model that would not only even the playing field but produce a good show.
Over the last two years, the sanctioning body and its partners have worked diligently to satisfy those needs. Although it's premature to predict the level of competition before the season begins, optimism is at an all-time high.