AJ Allmendinger announced that he was  happy with his qualifying performance in Texas today as the Richard Petty Motorsports team continued collecting data ready for the 2010 season.

Posting a time of 28.466, Allmendinger put the #44 car in 16th place, 0.211 seconds off the pace of pole-sitter Jeff Gordon and 0.067 seconds of the fastest Ford of Carl Edwards in 6th.

“It was pretty good. It's a process. I've got to keep remembering that.” said Allmendinger.

“Obviously, you want to go out there, you're excited to be a part of Ford – all of us are – and you want to go out there and right away just think, 'We should be on top of the board,' but it's not that easy in this sport. We started off practice and struggled a lot. The car is brand new, so there are a lot of things to work through.”

“I'm proud of everybody on the 44 team for working through it. In qualifying, the times are so close that it just felt like I didn't get everything out of it. Then you look at the board and half-a-tenth would pick you up five or six spots, but, overall, we're pleased.”

“Like I said, it's a process. We know that and hopefully that will get us inside the top 20 and we'll go racing on Sunday.”

Carl Edwards was positive “It's not the pole, but, hopefully, it'll be a top 10.” he said. “If it is a top 10, it'll be like a victory for us. We've worked pretty hard and I was real happy with the pickup there. We're competitive. I feel like we can hold our own against these guys today and that's big.”