Michael McDowell
Robert Laberge | Getty Images

McDowell to the rear, loses crew member after failing pre-race inspection twice

The Front Row Motorsports No. 34 Ford of Michael McDowell will start Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race from the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection twice at Auto Club Speedway.

RELATED: Starting lineup | Saturday’s practice recaps

The team will also compete in Sunday’s event short one crew member after NASCAR officials ejected a race engineer as part of the penalty. The No. 34 team will also serve a 15-minute hold during practice next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

McDowell was scheduled to start 29th in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), but will instead fall to the rear of the 38-car field in pace laps. He’ll be joined at the back of the pack by teammate Matt Tifft, whose No. 36 Ford underwent an engine change in Saturday practice. Tifft was set to line up 32nd in Sunday’s field.