On The Rise: NORRA's Special Partnership with Method Race Wheels

– – It's a Relationship Built on Product and Participation --

AGUA DULCE, CALIF. – One of the milestones to NORRA’s indisputable success in growing its annual Yokohama Tires Mexican 1000 rally has been through the support of a wide variety of top-level corporate partners. From its rebirth 10 years ago, the historic promotional body has enjoyed the blessing of industry sponsors both large and small.

Today, one of the most intriguing Mexican 1000 partnerships comes from Method Race Wheels, an upstart entry in the highly competitive off-road and light truck wheel industry. Founded in 2010 by longtime industry veteran Kevin Fitzgerald, his son Bud and Colbey Groom, Method Race Wheels has established a solid foothold in the market place thanks to innovative design, product innovation, interactive social media and disruptive marketing.

MEET THE FITZGERALDS: At the heart of Method Race Wheels' sparkling success story is the father and son duo of Kevin (left) and Bud Fitzgerald (top) along with Colbey Groom. They admit to being true off-road enthusiasts who are focusing on providing the off-road industry with stylish and race-proven wheels. They also compete at NORRA with this retro-flavored #74 Ford F-100.

From that perspective, Method Race Wheels’ successful recipe is far beyond executing a formulaic business plan. If asked, the brain trust behind the brand will place much if its impressive progress on two things: focusing on the off-road marketplace and placing faith in the power of passion.

As presenting sponsor for the 2019 Yokohama Tires NORRA Mexican 1000, Method Race Wheels not only provides much needed support to rally organizers and several high-profile race teams, but also is an enthusiastic competitor with several top-notch entries in the event itself.

The Fitzgeralds and Groom are avid racers themselves, competing in most recent NORRA Mexican 1000s with their ultra-cool #74 Ford F-100 race truck built by longtime Method Race Wheels partner and off-road builder Jake Velasco. The Method #74 F100 is cross over from the classic truck of the 1970's but is designed from the ground up to be one of the cleanest and most comfortable race trucks ever. While the team has finished several races since the truck's debut in 2014, they hope to take home the Vintage Open Truck class victory at next month's rally.

METHOD BRONCO: Together with partner Boyd Jaynes, Method Wheels' Sales & Marketing Director Brian Godfrey have notched the most class and category victories in the new NORRA Mexican 1000 era. The team is also one of the top competitors running rubber from Mexican 1000 title sponsor Yokohama Tire.

But the Fitzgeralds and Groom are not the only NORRA racers within the Method Race Wheels family. Having extensive experience with several major off-road brands, recent company addition Brian Godfrey is not only Method's sales and marketing manager, but also part of the most successful teams in the modern NORRA era. Together with photographer Boyd Jaynes, Godfrey drives the team's now famous #26 1968 "Caballo Del Diablo" (Devil Horse) Yokohama Ford Bronco in race's Pioneer 4x4 division.

“There is no doubt that the NORRA Mexican 1000 is one of our highlight events of the year,” explained Kevin Fitzgerald. “Not only do we compete, but we also get to test and promote our entire product line-up across a variety of vehicles. Besides, the entire week of camaraderie and sharing an annual Baja adventure fits right in with Method's basic brand premise itself.”

Sticking to the core motto of “Lighter, Stronger, Faster,” Method Wheels are available in a wide range of sizes and styles including complete lines for street, race, rally, trail and UTV. In 2019 the company's products have already earned top honors at the Nitto King of the Hammers event, the Toyo Tires Invitational for Unlimited trucks and the recently completed BFGoodrich Mint 400.

METHOD EVERYWHERE: From Gay Smith's radical Jimco-built, Chevy-powered Baja Bug to Mike Pearlman's historic "El Toro Verde" Toyota Landcruiser, many NORRA race and support vehicles have made the switch to Method Race Wheels stylish and race-proven wheels.

The entire NORRA combination is admittedly addictive, and now companies like Yokohama, Method Wheel, Bilstein, Walker Evans Racing, South Point, Rigid, STEEL-IT, Savvy Off-Road and many more have joined in on the NORRA phenomenon.

“NORRA is blessed to have a great group of corporate supporters on board for this year's Mexican 1000,” explained NORRA President Mike Pearlman. “What's even more fun is to have people from Method Race Wheels, Walker Evans Racing and South Point Hotel Casino come down and join us as racers. There aren't many events in all of motorsports that enjoy that level of participation that's for sure.”



Beginning in 2010, the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) began promoting a rebirth of the NORRA Mexican 1000 rally. The unique off-road rally was co-created by promoter Mike Pearlman to consist of special stages (unlimited speed timed stages in the dirt) linked together by controlled speed liaison / transit sections (highway). The one-of-a-kind, once-a-year, five-day rally includes vintage off-road vehicles and motorcycles, as well as modern desert Rally Raid cars, pre-runner trucks, buggies, UTVs and motorcycles.

Pearlman’s late father Ed and others established the first running of the NORRA Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967, which eventually became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970's.

The 2019 YOKOHAMA NORRA Mexican 1000 is supported by Yokohama, Method Race Wheels, South Point Hotel Casino, Walker Evans Racing, Bilstein Shock Absorbers, Steel-It, Multitool USA, RIGID, Savvy Offroad, VP Racing Fuels, Timberline, Ensenada Proturismo, Mastercraft/Impact Safety, Cerveceria Transpeninsular, Roganto, Biltwell Inc., Schampa, Racing, Satellite Phone, P.C.I. Race Radios, WARN, Magic Bullet, US Action, and many more.