It's All In Your Head
In the back of the July 25th edition of National Dragster, Bruce Deveau writes an excellent column regarding winning and losing and how much of it is dealing with attributions. The bottom line is that you must take responsibility or ownership for the reason you lost. Don't blame anyone or anything else for your losing, accept the responsibility that you screwed up. Then you must deal with the analysis of what you did wrong and how you are going to correct it. Bruce is a psychotherapist, mental skills coach and author of The Racer's Mind. If you haven't yet, read the article.
How To Polish Aluminum Plate
Polishing aluminum to a bright almost mirror finish really isn't that difficult. It just requires some elbow grease and plenty of time. When working with aluminum, keep in mind that it is a relatively soft metal that scratches easily so when smoothing or polishing, be careful which way any swirl marks may appear. The plates I polished were certified 6061-T6 1/4" aluminum sheet. I spent about 3 hours or so on the mid-plate and another hour and a half on the front side only of the front engine mounts.