Full-time prospects for ‘Dinger depend on money

With Team Penske eyeing "Spring Training" next month at Barber as the next testing opportunity for A.J. Allmendinger, it would appear that the ex-Champ Car racer's chances of having at least a few races this season in the IZOD IndyCar Series have increased.

Allmendinger's full-time plans for 2013 aren't set in stone. In addition to working on a potential part-time ride with Team Penske in open-wheel, he's also slated to compete in a few early-season Sprint Cup events for Phoenix Racing.

But should funding open up for a full-time ride in IndyCar with Penske, 'Dinger isn't going to turn it down.

“Obviously, if [team owner] Roger [Penske] says, ‘Here’s a full-time ride,’ I’m not going to be the idiot that turns it down and says, ‘No, I’m good'," Allmendinger told FoxSports.com's Lee Spencer after his test session with Penske yesterday at Sebring International Raceway.

"It’s just finding the best opportunity and the best place for me to be where I want to be in whatever series that is.”

In addition, Penske Racing president Tim Cindric told USA Today's Nate Ryan that they're taking the approach of having a third Penske program ready to compete when needed.

"…We're not prepared to run it on a full-time basis, but we could be," Cindric said to Ryan. "It's just a matter of trying to get the right sponsors and be able to move it. We'll fund it to a degree but not the whole thing."

Allmendinger was 12th-quickest in yesterday's session at Sebring, but was within half a second of both his Penske teammates, Will Power and Helio Castroneves.

Andretti Autosport's quartet, led by defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, and highly regarded French rookie Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) are getting laps in today at Sebring.

Vautier and teammate Simon Pagenaud will be among the nine drivers that will test next Wednesday out at Sonoma Raceway in northern California.