Sunday 22nd January 1978
Taking the lead with 25 laps to go, Cale Yarborough drove the new Junior Johnson Oldsmobile to victory in the NASCAR Grand National Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway. Yarborough finished one second ahead of Benny Parsons with David Pearson less than a car length behind Parsons in third. Parsons and Pearson swapped the runner-up spot three times on the last lap. Neil Bonnett finished 4th in his first road course start. It was the first NASCAR GN win for Olds since 1959. Johnson’s team had a new crew chief, 22 year old Tim Brewer. Yarborough’s 50th career win seen by a crowd of 70,000. The start was delayed to let the large crowd in through the muddy conditions.