it's pretty rare that a kernel compiled for one distro won't work with another.
Yes the kernel is very flexable however when companies make their distro the images are pre-compile with service they think are mostly needed. hence distros made for i686 and distros made for i386 also what about the modules.
This is not to say it won't work but if you want to experiment make a boot disk from your distro and see how many other distros will boot from it. That would be a good way to tell.
Now if you were for example to use the kernel source from mandrake distro and install compile make what you need on a Red Hat machine that should work.