There's no single, universal, linear path that a driver follows from grassroots racing to NASCAR stardom. Plenty of drivers hone their skills on their local short tracks in late models, progressing their way up the ladder before finally landing a gig in the big time. For years, that was the way things worked.
But in recent years, as NASCAR has established a global presence, more and more Sprint Cup drivers have come from different backgrounds. Many of them have reached the highest level of other disciplines, winning major races and championships before switching over to stock cars.
Granted, those stellar pedigrees elsewhere may secure NASCAR employment, but that doesn't guarantee success. Some of these drivers have pulled the career switch off better than others, but these 10 have established themselves as some of the most versatile in the sport: