But Cindric said it's still their intent to run the car, and Allmendinger is a viable option.
And in pursuing the opportunity, Allmendinger had to convince the organization he's interested in racing in the IndyCar Series. Allmendinger ran four NASCAR races after his reinstatement, has a handful of Sprint Cup races on his 2013 schedule, and was on Michael Shank Racing's third-place team at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sports car race last month.
"When we look at the drivers out there, we've been looking at AJ and asked, 'Is he someone who wants to do this longer-term if there was a possibility with us?'" Cindric said. "For him to be a candidate to run at Indy, it would have to be something he'd be interested in doing beyond Indy. He's consistently told us, 'Whatever is the best ride for me, I just want the best opportunity as a driver.' He's convinced us that should we want him to drive beyond Indy, we would be his first priority."
Cindric said the test in Florida is so far the only thing on Allmendinger's schedule with the Penske IndyCar. Ideally, Allmendinger would run at least one race with the organization before the Indy 500 and Cindric said the April event at Barber was a good fit because IndyCar has an open test at the Alabama track.
Allmendinger's only run one oval track in an IndyCar, at Milwaukee. He finished fifth, second and fourth in his three career starts.
"Because he's only driven one oval in an open-wheel car, we'd want to run him in at least one race before Indy to get used to the team, to pit stops and get comfortable," Cindric said. "We're hoping to try to make a decision about the Barber open test by the end of the month."