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Bass Pro Shops signs with Tony Stewart

Updated: October 5, 2012, 4:27 PM ET
Associated Press

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Tony Stewart insisted he wasn't trying to poach a sponsor when he approached Bass Pro Shops about an opportunity to join his race team.

The three-time NASCAR champion has a long relationship with Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris, and knew the contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing expired at the end of this season. In need of funding, Stewart had a conversation that led to an 18-race sponsorship deal that was announced Friday.

"I didn't go to Johnny trying to steal ...

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