There are a lot of good and successful athletes, but there are only a few elite ones.  What separates them is their mindset.

For guys like Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon it was never about the check, it was about the trophies.  The same thing can be said about Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.

After hearing Denny Hamlin's comments following his Daytona 500 win, he may belong in that group as well.  His comments were a great look into the mind of a champion and how important his legacy is to him; rather than his bank account.

Hamlin now has 27 wins in Cup.  But, he acknowledges that this one has bumped him up to another level.  He admitted that, prior to Sunday, it bothered him that, despite his success, only one of his wins had come in the races considered to be NASCAR's crown jewels, the Southern 500 at Darlington.  He is also o-for in the championship department.

Hamlin's win Sunday has forever changed the way he will be introduced.  And, to him, that's more important than the check that goes with it.