The lighter wheel will help alot, in both respects. Your pretty much spot on with your thoughts now. But aftwards start looking into the ignition. The 3 keys of an engine is fuel, air, and spark. If you increase the injector you will probly not be able to burn it well and could kill you cats faster. If you get a hotter coil pack and wires and team it with a really good plug you will probly get good results.
If t were me in your shoes I would get the wheels, do exhaust and intake, then the ignition. Since your driving it for work the tail gate and rack probly have to stay on, but maybe look into a wind faring like you see on snowboard/bike racks. This should help with drag and wind noise.