There comes a time in the lifecycle of elite sports when, to stay ahead of the competition, a team or series must reinvent itself by phasing out the old battle-scared heroes and bring in fresh and energetic new contenders. That helps reignite the torch and give the flame a new lease of life.
It's a tricky business, one that takes a sagacious mind to implement and ensure a seamless transition from the all-conquering era that has just closed to the next chapter. This is a journey that Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR's most successful team, has found itself on over the past few years, as its roster of drivers - arguably the biggest names over the past two decades of stock car racing - have all taken their last dance. They've passed on the duty of repeated excellence that has come to define Rick Hendrick's eponymous squad.
Grizzled veterans Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr were replaced with Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman, respectively with William Byron brought aboard in 2018 to drive Gordon's famed #24 once Elliott moved over to the #9. Elliott stepped up to the mantle to assume the role of de facto team leader as septuple champion Jimmie Johnson lost his mojo in what was a painful last two full-time seasons, before departing at the close of 2020 to embark on an IndyCar programme.