The main objective of this study is to develop physics‐based constraints on the spatiotemporal variation of the slip‐rate function using a simplified dynamic rupture model. First, we performed dynamic rupture modeling of the 2019 7.1 Ridgecrest, California, earthquake, to analyze the effects of depth‐dependent stress and material friction on slip rate. Then, we used our modeling results to guide refinements to the slip‐rate function that were implemented in the Graves–Pitarka kinematic rupture generation technique. The dynamic ruptures were computed on a surface‐rupturing, planar strike‐slip fault that includes a weak (negative to low‐stress‐drop) zone in the upper 4 km of the crust. Below the weak zone, we placed high‐stress‐drop patches designed to mirror the large‐slip areas seen in various rupture model inversions of the event. The locations of the high‐stress‐drop patches and the hypocenter were varied in multiple realizations to investigate how changing the dynamic conditions affected the resulting rupture kinematics, in particular, the slip rate. From these simulations, we observed a systematic change in the shape of the slip‐rate function from Kostrov type below the weak zone to a predominantly symmetric shape within the weak zone, along with a depth‐dependent reduction of peak slip rate. We generalized these shallow rupture features into a depth‐dependent parametric variation of the slip‐rate function and implemented it in the Graves–Pitarka kinematic rupture model generator. The performance of the updated kinematic approach was then verified in 0–4 Hz simulations of the 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake, which showed that incorporating the depth‐dependent variation in the shape of the slip‐rate function improves the fit to the observed near‐fault ground motions in the 0.5–3 s period range.