Jan Gabriel's own Web site, it did not go without notice what day he died. His death notice was headlined "The Last Sunday." It was appropriate, because Jan Gabriel promoted Sunday better than any preacher.
In an interview on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, Gabriel once explained how he helped the US 30 Drag Strip in Hobart, Ind., tell everyone what day it raced, in the process creating one of the most enduring phrases in motorsports promotion - one that other announcers for decades would amp up to increasingly histrionic proportions.
Gabriel called himself "Chicago's youngest teenage DJ" when he started at record hops in the 1950s. He then moved into commercial work. He started combining his love of show business and racing beginning in 1968, when he became the track announcer at the Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Ill. By his telling, most track announcers sat up high in a booth and talked with little cadence. Gabriel put himself on stage in the middle of the track and went crazy.