Cale Yarborough begins the 1978 season in style, by winning the Winston Western 500 at Riverside. The ’76 and ’77 Winston Cup champion led 58 laps en route to victory, with Benny Parsons trailing close behind in second. First National City Travelers Checks sponsored both drivers that year, with Cale driving the #11 Old’s for Junior Johnson, and Benny in the #72 L.G. DeWitt Chevrolet. The two drivers would battle it out over the final 48 laps of the event, swapping the lead no less than five times. Polesitter David Pearson, who led four times earlier in the race for a total of 41 laps, would settle for third in his Wood Brothers Mercury. With a total of ten victories in 1978, Yarborough would easily capture his 3rd consecutive title, sitting atop the standings for all but 9 of the 30 races.