Jarrett family competes on track and diamond

by: Phil Orban Updated:

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CHARLOTTE - One of the great things about sports is its ability to bring families together. They certainly brought one famous family from Hickory together, spanning three generations and two sports.

Growing up, Zach Jarrett’s dad was not able to make it to all of his baseball games, especially on weekends.

His dad, Dale Jarrett, was a little busy on the race tracks.

With his son now a freshman on the UNC Charlotte baseball team, Dale Jarrett is on pace to catch 40 games this season.

“With Zach, he is living that dream he had when I started him playing baseball at about 5 years old,” said Dale Jarrett.

“He wasn't able to be there early on but now it’s like he's making up for it. Now he gets to come watch me and he's there for me every step of the way,” Zach Jarrett said.

It’s not uncommon for NASCAR to span generations in a family. Zach Jarrett’s grandfather Ned Jarrett is a legend in the sport. Dale Jarrett is a Hall of Famer. Zach chose a different path, much to the relief of his mother, Kelley.

“My mom never really wanted me to do [racing] just with the danger side of it. Whenever I was about 9 or 10 is whenever I thought I’d do my own thing, and go out and see what I can do,” said Zach.

That decision has paid off, allowing Dale Jarrett the chance to see his son carry the Jarrett name proudly on the diamond.

“He's a competitor, just like the Jarretts are. He appreciates what the sport has done, and what our name has meant to the sport and the things we've been able to accomplish there; but he's making a name for himself and it's kind of nice to see that, and how he handles all that and I'm really proud of him,” Dale Jarrett said.